An aging pile of logs stacked alongside the boat house seemed the perfect material to create a stacked log fence. The logs were a bonafide surplus, since it would take the next twenty years to burn them in the pot belly stove inside our mountain cottage, and they likely would moulder and rot before we got around to burning them. They had developed a lovely silver-grey patina that would blend into the landscape, and would create a boundary fence that would appear to have been erected a very long time ago. So, to work!
Having no blueprint or instructions, we began dragging the logs from the back of the property to the front, where the fence would begin at the road and travel up the driveway. After dragging twenty or so logs, we voted to “give it a rest” and sort out how to begin. The first step was place a log up on the “saw buck” and cut two-foot sections that would be used as support to hold the logs up off the ground. The supports had to be notched, and while a chain saw isn’t the best tool for the job, it worked–finally–after the chain came off in protest and caused a considerable delay and many expletives deleted.
Next the chain saw had to be transported to the job site, with lengthy extension cords, to notch the logs so they would stack. It isn’t quite as easy as Lincoln Logs – does anyone remember those? We had no tools to measure with, and eroded at least a foot of topsoil dragging and re-placing the logs to try to get the proper angle of repose. Many trips were made up the hill to “eyeball” whether the logs pointing in each direction were parallel.
A neighbor stopped to watch quietly for about an hour as we struggled, sweat and swore. Then he abruptly decided to take his leave, but not until he informed us we had a crooked log that needed replacing in our “snake fence.” Of course it was on the bottom and required dragging another log from the back of the property over the hill to the front, and re-positioning five or six other logs that were stacked over the top of the crooked one. Thanks, Charlie!!!
At the end of the day, we had utilized all our logs and the fence was taking shape. There are many more logs out back, and we vowed to build another section as soon as we have recovered from bruises, scrapes and aching backs! Oh pioneer!
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Why that fence is looking mighty fine.
I’m jeaslous! I always wanted a snake fence!
You should have checked with John Scott on that fence – he is an expert on fence like this…learned thru VOC. Looks good tho…
Hi, I was wondering if it would be ok to use your photo of the snake fence in a book? I’m co- authoring a book of history for a small community in New Zealand, and this type of fence has been mentioned as being used in the 1860’s by the pioneers. This is the best photo available of this kind of fence, in fact I didn’t think I’d be able to find one at all.
thanks, Toni Reid