Whenever Margaret and I visit central Kentucky, we’re struck by how much the land reminds us of Ireland. Especially when we drive the narrow back roads, the rolling hills and low stone border walls transport us right back to Eire.
Small wonder: those low stone walls were first built in the early 1800s by Irish immigrants. They are simply stacked Kentucky limestone; no mortar holds them together. Unfortunately, the Irish taught slaves how to build these dry stone walls, and it’s estimated that 90% of the walls that still stand were slave-built.
The other common fence in Kentucky is the four-board wood fence. Most of the ones we saw around Shaker Village were white.
This is horse country, and those fences are often meant to keep the horses in. Notice that this fence is black.
Kentucky farmers are learning that black is more cost effective: the paint is less expensive and needs to be reapplied less often. So expect to see more and more of these fences painted black over time.
But for now, at Shaker Village the majority of wood fencing is still painted white. With the abundant dry stone walls, the grounds ooze that classic, charming central-Kentucky look.
The fences keep in more than horses, of course.
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Last updated on 15 February 2020 by Jim Grey