The historic rock fences of Blanco County: their past, their future
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The historic rock fences of the Texas Hill Country are important visual and cultural components of its rural landscape, yet their very existence is threatened by economic pressures because little is known about them. Popularly known as “German fences,” they more closely resemble rock fences seen in the Upland South and Great Britain. Blanco County was chosen as a focus area for this study because it was home to both German and Anglo-American immigrants, thus presenting an opportunity for comparisons of fences built by each group. The results of my research suggest that, although Germans built many fences in the county, their techniques were heavily influenced by neighboring AngloAmericans who brought their British-based fence-building tradition with them from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri. The beauty of the Texas Hill Country rock fences in the rural landscape is enhanced by their cultural significance as artifacts of pioneer life. They are worthy of preservation. In that light, programs for preservation of rock fences in other regions are discussed, and strategies for preservation in Texas examined.