Here at Mountain Made gallery, we are happy to announce that master woodcrafter Jim Caskowski has brought us several of his wonderful handcrafted flower holders made from Locust wood reclaimed from vintage Split Rail Fencing.
Split rail fence, also known as split pole or snake fence, was a prevalent method of fencing used in the early American frontier to the late 1800’s. Split rail fencing provided many advantages that made it particularly popular in the Western North Carolina and its farmers.
The original split rail fences were often built by laying split locust logs on top of one another in a zigzag formation.
Locust, specifically black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), was favored in the Smoky Mountains for several reasons:
Durability: Locust wood is incredibly durable and resistant to rot, making it an excellent choice for fence construction. When exposed to the elements, locust wood can last for several decades without significant degradation.
Insect resistance: Locust wood has natural compounds that make it resistant to insect infestations, including termites. This characteristic further contributed to the longevity of fences made from locust wood.
Fast-growing: Black locust trees are fast-growing and thrive in various soil types, making them an abundant resource here in the Smoky Mountains. This allowed local farmers to harvest locust wood without significantly depleting the supply.
Strength: Locust wood is very dense and strong, making it an ideal material for split pole fencing. Fences constructed from locust wood were sturdy and able to withstand the pressures of livestock and the harsh mountain weather conditions.
Which is why deep in the reclaimed forests and along forgotten roads these locust wood posts still stand, a silent witness to growth and change within the hidden hollows and hillsides in Western North Carolina.
We invite you to come by Mountain Made and touch a real piece of mountain history > directions to Mountain Made, a downtown Asheville art gallery.