Split Rail Fence & The American Chestnut

Split Rail Fence & The American Chestnut (HM19TA)

Location: Abingdon, VA 24210 Washington County
Country: United States of America

N 36° 42.392', W 81° 58.562'

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(Castanea dentata)

Split Rail fences were used by early pioneer families to fence in their livestock, to protect their crops from their farm animals, and to mark boundary lines. The fences were constructed out of timber logs which were split into rails. Most split rail fences have the rails stacked in an interlocking zig-zag fashion that is self supporting; easy to create and to repair. The fence could be easily disassembled it if needed to be moved or the wood was needed for other purposes. During the Civil War split rail fences were a major source of firewood for both the Union and Confederate forces and sometimes were used as a rudimentary fortification. Split rail fences were made of easy to split, rot resistant wood. The American Chestnut was the traditional timber of choice until chestnut blight eliminated this tree from American forests. A fungus, which attacked the trees, was accidently introduced into North America around 1900 on imported Asiatic chestnut trees. The blight was first discovered in New York around 1904 and spread about 50 miles a year. Within a few decades it had killed up to three billion American Chestnut trees. Before the blight about 25 percent of the trees in the Appalachian Mountains were American Chestnut.

The split rail fences at Veterans Memorial Park are an example of the type fence that was used to protect crops and gardens from horses, cattle and other livestock during the pioneer days. Some of the rails in this fence are American Chestnut. An experimental grove of hybrid Chestnut trees similar to the original American Chestnut is planted in the Park behind the Bronze Ribbon sculpture.

Please do not lean, climb or sit on the fence.

Like our environment and freedom, the fence, is a very fragile. Be protective of them all and respectful of this special place.
Details
HM NumberHM19TA
Tags
Year Placed2011
Placed ByVeterans Memorial Park Foundation of Abington/Washington County, Virginia, Inc
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, September 21st, 2014 at 5:40pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 412822 N 4062761
Decimal Degrees36.70653333, -81.97603333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 42.392', W 81° 58.562'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 42' 23.52" N, 81° 58' 33.72" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)276
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 400 Cummings St, Abingdon VA 24210, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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