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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Abingdon in Washington County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Split Rail Fence & The American Chestnut

(Castanea dentata)

 
 
Split Rail Fence & The American Chestnut Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
1. Split Rail Fence & The American Chestnut Marker
Inscription. 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
Split Rail Fence & The American Chestnut Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 31, 2013
2. Split Rail Fence & The American Chestnut Marker
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.
 
Erected 2011 by Veterans Memorial Park Foundation of Abington/Washington County, Virginia, Inc.
 
Location. 36° 42.392′ N, 81° 58.562′ W. Marker is in Abingdon, Virginia, in Washington County. Marker is at the intersection of Cummings Street SW and Grove Terrace Drive SW, on the right when traveling south on Cummings Street SW. Touch for map. Marker is located in Veterans Memorial Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 335 Cummings Street, Abingdon VA 24210, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bronze "Yellow" Ribbon Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); POW★MIA (within shouting distance of this marker); The Minutemen (within shouting distance of this marker); Governor David Campbell (within shouting distance of this marker); John Campbell (within shouting distance of this marker); Abingdon in the Civil War (approx. mile away); Boyhood Home of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston (approx. mile away); Abingdon (approx. mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Abingdon.
 
Categories. Horticulture & ForestryMan-Made Features
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 4, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 288 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 4, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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