There were many chestnut trees in those woods. They were cut for telephone poles and fence posts and used for lumber in buildings. Part of my house has chestnut lumber in it with 4 inch studding placed 16 inches apart. The main beams were made of oak which was much stronger. Chestnut was more risistant to the weather and lasted a long time, making it good especially for fence posts. It was easier to split than oak or other kinds of trees.
I remember when my father sent my brother and me to the woods to cut fence posts and split them. We cut the tree with a crosscut saw. On some of the larger logs which we couldn’t split with an axe, we used a wedge and mall to split them. There was a great demand for the posts for fences because the farmers needed fences for their horses, cattle and sheep.
Abe Lincoln used chestnut to build rail fence in his day. The only tree more resistant to rot is the locust tree. When seasoned, it was difficult to drive a staple into locust for holding up the fence. The most popular fence was made of woven wire and was about 4 inches high. Sometimes, a single strand of barbed, woven wire was used for fencing. It is easy to put up and less expensive to use.
I remember when the horses would get their feet caught in the fence and had to have help to get them out.