An online journal of Mannie Gentile, a National Park Service Park Ranger working on the National Mall in our nation's capital.
DISCLAIMER: please note that this blog represents only my views and not those of the National Park Service.
Feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
New fence on the Sunken Road
Yesterday was my regular volunteering day at Antietam and I spent a little time watching the guys build Virginia worm-rail fencing along the Sunken Road. It should be noted that much of the labor was provided by dedicated Antietam volunteers.
To make a worm rail fence, all you need is a zillion rails...
and a lot of elbow-grease...
but no post-hole digger or any fasteners of any sort. All you need is gravity.
It's a stacked fence.
The new-ness of the rails will last a few years as the weather works its magic.
I once had a little kid indignantly ask me why there were no bullet holes in the fences!
Unlike post-and-rail fences, worm-rail fences are portable...to move the fence, to adjust a borderline, to enlarge a pasture, all you have to do is restack the rails. Worm-rail fences take four times the wood but they provide a lot of flexibility to the farmer. The enormous amount of wood tied up in fences demonstrates the value to farmers of their prized woodlots. Imagine the financial hardship suffered by the farmer as armies on campaign consumed miles of fences in their cooking fires.
Watching other people work made me pretty fatigued, so I went up into the War Department tower and relaxed for an hour chatting people up.