“Cobblestone architecture refers to the use of cobblestones embedded in mortar as method for erecting walls on houses and commercial buildings. Cobblestone architecture was developed in the northeastern United States, especially antebellum western New York state. Masons that built the Erie Canal during 1817-1825 started building cobblestone structures about the time the canal was finished. The stones used in the construction were typically of a rounded shape deposited in the area by glaciers, and cleared from the fields by early farmers, or brought from the shores of Lake Ontario. Immigrants spread the style to other parts of the country, including an area of Wisconsin. Historians estimate that at least 75 percent, and possibly more than 90 percent, of American cobblestone buildings can be found within 70–75 miles of Rochester, New York. The style was prominent between 1835 and about 1860; around 900 cobblestone buildings were constructed in New York state before the American Civil War.
In true cobblestone architecture the whole wall consists of rows of cobblestones embedded in a lime mortar. The exterior surface may especially carefully constructed for decorative effect with cobbles matched by size and color. In Wisconsin most buildings seem to have only the exterior surfaces in pure cobblestone work, as a decorative finish for a rubble core. Cobblestone architecture is featured in many houses and farmhouses but also in churches, stores and town halls.”
Tip: stone makes an excellent, although labor intensive, exterior cladding on earthbag houses, for instance. You’ll need a foundation to support the stonework.