Unfortunately, the years have not been kind to the recreated fence. It has deteriorated to the point of falling down in many places and becoming a very real safety hazard throughout its entire length.
Because of this, the National Park Service has deemed it necessary to remove the fence in its entirety. The staff of Antietam National Battlefield's Cultural Resources Division and volunteers from Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center have been hard at work dismantling the dilapidated fence this week.
|Knocking off the pickets. Some can be saved; others will be burned.|
|Digging out the concrete which was used to set the posts|
|Ranger K. C. Kirkman affixing the sign to the only fencing left standing|
|Park Superintendent Susan Trail visits the sight|
|Ranger Keven Walker digging concrete|
What makes this sad for the Pry House is that this fence will not be replaced any time soon. Ideally, a new fence would be going in to replace this rotten one, but that would cost thousands of dollars and the money is just not there for Antietam National Battlefield. Money has been a concern for most National Parks for years now, but with the current sequester, times are desperate. As jobs and staffing are cut to the bare bones and preservation projects and interpretive programs are entirely scrapped, getting a new fence for the Pry House is not a possibility. Like so many effected by these Federal Government budget cuts, we are just going to have to learn to do without.
These means that the garden is looking a little different now too. I am going to need to devise a way to demarcate the edge of the garden that was bordered by the fence. If I had realized this would happen so soon, I might have chosen to rearrange the plants in the garden.