News : Local Stonemason Builds Outdoor Fireplaces with Sustainable and Rustic Elegance

Aug 7, 2012

Published in The Granite State Sentinel

By Jim Cavan

NORTH HAMPTON- Few relics of summer are more beloved or imbued with nostalgia than an evening around an outdoor fire, with the stories, songs, and S’mores infusing the crisp evening air as bountifully as embers.

Typically, the centerpiece of this seasonal rite is no more complex than a hand-dug hole or shallow metal bowl – a rustic venue for a rustic ritual.

But what if you’re looking for a bit of a luxury to help temper the always- fickle New England elements? The Donahues found themselves in just this position when, in the summer of 2011, the first looked into adding an outdoor fireplace to their newly renovated stone patio.

“We love our property, and we love large group gatherings – that was our original motivation,” says Marilyn Donahue, recalling when she and husband Jim first considered augmenting their North Hampton property. “As much as we love first pits, there’s nothing quite like the ambiance of a fireplace.”

Enter Adam Bennett, owner of the Windham-based Colonial Stoneworks. After years working in the automotive and landscaping sectors, in 2010 Bennett launched Colonial with the aim of emphasizing “green hardscaping,” specifically the use of New England granite in everything from mailboxes to property walls to walkways and staircases.

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