Friday, January 8, 2010

Lost Arts: Split Rail Fences!

For many years everywhere we drove you could see split rail fences.

In our north country, pioneer farmers used whatever was on hand and metal fencing being so expensive and mostly unavailable, the farmers cut cedar trees and split the trunks, layering them for miles and miles of fences. Very little else was needed for construction and the wood was free! They also gladly cleared the land of aromatic cedar forests so they could plant crops. The wood weathered slowly and lasted for years!

If you drive the Bruce peninsula, you can still see and walk nature trails through thousands of acres of cedar forests and they are a marvel!

These fences became in vogue when I was a girl. Of course they fell out of fashion. In, Out. In, Out. Enterprising folk traveled the north, bought and dismantled existing fences and trucked the weathered wood south to landscapers and lumber yards where it was sold at a premium.

I can't recall when I last saw a brand new cedar fence and was delighted when this one was constructed just before Christmas.

Isn't it just something!


  1. what an absolute beautiful picture... I can so see why you love them so... Simply beautiful....

  2. That is a beautiful photo, but what in the world is that red thing hanging on the fence?? We had a beautiful split rail fence going around our little front yard at our brand new suburban tract home in Southern California back in the 50's. Had climbing roses all over it and was so pretty.

  3. The red thing hanging on the fence is a leftover Christmas bow.


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