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gun fence

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gun fence n [See quot 1890] NEast obs Cf DS L61, 62

= pitch-pole fence n.
1826 Methodist Mag. 9.394, The ground for the encampment was enclosed by a gun fence. [DARE Ed: This is an account by an American missionary, born seMA, of activities in Canada.] 1860 Todd Young Farmer’s Manual 86 NY, The Side Hill, or Gun Fence. . . is made with small stakes and short pieces of rails. . . Where the ground is so steep that an animal—horse or ox—can scarcely ascend or descend, the horizontal pieces may be only four feet in length and the stakes four feet. . . Slabs placed edge ways in the stakes, will lay up much faster with a given number of stakes than pieces of rails or stakes. . . When this type of fence is built on level ground, slabs of almost any length may be used. 1876 Amer. Agric. 35.254 nNJ, For the information of those who may possibly be unfamiliar with this fence, let me say that a gun-fence is a three-rail fence, the rails not sharpened, one end of each resting on the ground, and each rail supported at its upper third upon two stakes driven into the ground in the form of an X:—thus, if the rails are 12 feet long, the crossed stakes will stand about 4 feet apart, and not only hold one rail up, but hold the one beneath it down. 1890 Garden and Forest 3.184 NJ, He says that gun fences, as formerly used in New Jersey, were “constructed of rails . . resting one end on the ground and the other in the air at an angle of about forty-five degrees, each one being supported a little above the centre by small cross stakes shoved into the ground. They were popular with the early settlers, because of their being so easily and rapidly built. . . At a distance the rails did not look unlike a lot of guns stacked in line, hence the name.” 1933 Hanley Disks NH, Gun fence. . . A zigzag rail fence. Some call it a gun fence. . . but we’ve forgot that now, we don’t use it.

 

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