Split Rail Fences in the Oregon Territory

Log cabin in forest with split rail fence.

During the Westward Expansion of the mid 1840’s settlers used materials readily available to them to build new homes. Much of the area was wooded making lumber easy to come by. Having a fence for the livestock was as important as shelter for the families.

Split rail fences used long timbers stacked perpendicularly. There was no need to shave the bark away. Mud chinking held the logs in place. Stones held the lowest logs in place. The fencing was easily adapted to the surroundings. The Oregon Territory held forests, mountains, hills, rivers, streams, and boulders.

Remnants of these fences can be found near abandoned homesteads and dilapidated animal shelters. Some have been preserved for history.

In my own time, I look for split rail fences. There is something beautiful about the simplicity and strength of them. I see them often as decorative links near creeks and back yards.

My soon to be finished novella, Winter’s Journey, takes place in this new place as the characters from Rebecca’s Journey settle in and build new homes and families. A wedding also takes place during this winter season.

Winter’s Journey comes between Rebecca’s Journey and Katie’s Journey in this Journey Series.

Look for “Rebecca’s Journey” on August 8, 2024 from The Wild Rose Press.


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