Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Zigzag Fence Mysteries (sometimes with rails)

A little more on the zigzag fences I find around where I live in this corner of Connecticut: more often than not these rail fences and the stone fences that are fabled to result from them just don't play by the rules you read. There is supposed to be a sequence of brush, stumps, rails, and then stone fences as the woods are cleared and timber gets scarce. I opt for the "easy" theory, as I've said before, and think that splitting rails would win out as the easiest method - converting Native Stone constructions, linear or zigzag rows into fences that were made higher by adding those rails- as well as creating spaces by perhaps setting new "Snake Rail Fences" on a stone that kept the rails off the ground. The photo above, from a scrap book that is property of the Watertown Historical Society, dated 1866, about 10 years before barbed wire was patented.
Looking back to a post from March 2008 [http://wakinguponturtleisland.blogspot.com/2008/03/continuing-up-hill-i-followed-linear.html], I've found a little remnant of a snake rail fence that looks much like a fence of the style above, just a few stones and some decaying chestnut rails:

Compare this to this one that I think is of the "rails added to the Native Zigzag Stone Row (that surrounds a swampy riparian resource zone):
From: The Occasional Chestnut Rail {http://wakinguponturtleisland.blogspot.com/2007/01/occasional-chestnut-rail.html} where there are more photos....

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