Stonework at Ijams Homesite: pictured Johnny Strevel, Johnny Strevel Jr., Warren Bryant and Ben Nanny.
Renovations to the homesite terrace gardens are underway. Ijams staff is currently assisting Johnny Strevel and his son, Johnny Strevel Jr, with the construction of a stone wall to match the existing walls. This new stone wall will help tie the site together and make an aesthetically pleasing location for weddings and small events.
Johnny is an incredibly gifted stone mason and regular visitor to Ijams. He also constructed the stone steps at the keyhole and rock bridge. He worked in the quarry and so did his grandfather and he has a wealth of knowledge about the area. One of the most incredible aspects of Johnny’s work is his ability to create something that instantly looks as though it is a century old. We are incredibly fortunate to have such a craftsman to volunteer his time and hard work so selflessly.
According to Johnny, the style of wall that is laid at the homesite is known as old smokey mountain and it is unique because of the gaps and voids between some of the stones. On the existing walls, these voids have become home to small ferns, moss, and even some columbine.