Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cracking Nuts 1856


Detail from: William Sidney Mount (American painter, 1807-1868) Cracking Nuts 1856
The painting shows a zigzag stone wall, I suppose, being gradually formed as the fable states, in the great frenzy of stone wall building, just a few years before barbed wire became fashionable, somewhere in the untamed wilderness of Long Island.
There's a photo of a nutting stone sitting on a zigzag row in Woodbury CT
near the end of this post:
Above: two men not building stone walls.
Is that New Haven CT above? Painter George Henry Durrie and some non-zigzag stone rows with wooden rails added...



And then there's Guy Wiggins, painting out in the general area of Old Lyme CT (not to be confused with Lyme, East Lyme, New Old Lyme or Lemon Lyme):
Pictured above is something often called a "cow run" in the Fables and Folklore of Connecticut and Beyond but it also just might be an Indian trail with associated fire break stone rows, an ancient remnant of a very successful land management system whose age is unknown and is not likely to be studied scientifically when we have a perfectly good myhtic legend already in place. Grassy Hill below is Open Space Land, I believe, (and has aerial photography from 1934 available online at the CT State Library) where a similar Indian Trail has followed evolution to become a cart path and possibly an unpaved road of the early 1900's.)

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