Until the late 19th century Appalachian agriculture relied heavily on the traditional English practice of common rights to unenclosed land. Individuals had a right to hunt, fish, and graze their livestock on unfenced land regardless of ownership. In practice this meant that mountain farmers relied heavily on free ranging their hogs, cattle, and sheep on the forest mast and mountain bald pastures. Cultivated crops rather than pasture lands were fenced. The rapid growth of population and the rise of commercial farming following the Civil War, led to increasing demands for fence laws and an end to the open range. By the 1890s fence laws had been enacted in all Appalachian states and a way of life came to an end.
Below is the Digital Heritage Moment as broadcast on the radio:
- Thomas Legion
Timothy N. Osment
William Holland Thomas, state legislator and “white chief” of the Cherokee, was 56 years old when the Civil War began. From the beginning of […]
- Cornhusk Crafts
Appalachian people, of Cherokee, European, and African origin, all share a long history of making useful and decorative items from the outer leaves of ears of corn, known as […]
- Tom Wilson Big Tom Wilson, a legendary tracker, guide, and bear hunter whose death was reported in the New York Times, roamed the Mt. Mitchell area in the early 19th century.
- Bill Monroe
When people are asked to name words that they associate with the Appalachian region, one of the first words off the tongue is bluegrass. The country credits one man, Bill Monroe, with […]
- Daisy Zachary McGuire-Dentistry This project will explore the history of dentistry in Jackson County from the 1860's to present day dentistry in Jackson County.