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:
- Banjo The banjo, a four or five string musical instrument with a leather or plastic head stretched over a circular wooden rim, is pictured by many as the symbol of Appalachian music. . .
- Cherokees in Macon County History and Folklore In the beautiful mountains and valleys of southwestern North Carolina, Macon County was once the center of the Cherokee Nation. The area was rich in scenery, wildlife, gems and minerals, […]
- Mary Cornwell, 1989 Mary Cornwell receives 1989 Mountain Heritage Award
Mary Cornwell of Waynesville, creator of the North Carolina State Fair’s Village of Yesteryear and founder of the Museum of North […]
- Jackson County Genealogical Society, 2012 Mountain Heritage Award Winner, 2012
Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Awards for 2012 were presented Saturday (Sept. 29) to Rob Tiger, a Hayesville community leader who has […]
- Cherokee Indian Fair Starting on the first Tuesday of October and ending the following Saturday, the Cherokee Indian Fair is an annual event one would not want to miss. After over ninety years, this fair has […]