THE STORY OF THE CORNSTALK FENCE

OR

HOW TO COMFORT YOUR HOMESICK WIFE

A New Orleans Legend

We were living in Kingsville,Texas when we were transferred to New Orleans. After arriving in New Orleans I asked my wife what she thought. She said:" You didn't tell me we were going to have 2 foreign assignments in a Row!! I knew I was in Trouble. It was a long way to Wyoming. Keeping a spouse happy a long way from home and family is an age old problem in New Orleans . According to history, some say legend, in the late 1850's a gentleman from Kentucky, Colonel Robert Henry Short had a problem. His wife was homesick for Iowa. In order to mitigate the problem, Colonel Short had a fence shaped like a row of cornstalks made in the New Orleans branch of the Philadelphia Foundry. No one is sure if it worked or not, but the fence still stands today around Colonel Shorts Villa at 1448 Fourth Street in the Garden District. Two other cornstalk fences stood in the city. One, pictured above, still stands in front of the Cornstalk Hotel at 915 Royal Street in the French Quarter. The other found its way from a demolished New Orleans mansion to a museum in Southern California. It is not known if these two fences were made at the same time as Colonel Short's fence or if they were also made by the Philadelphia Foundry. Even if the fence didn't help his wife it may have made the invading Yankees feel more at home during the civil war. During that war  federal troops kicked Mr. Short out of his house and used it as a officer's quarters and military office during the occupation of New Orleans.

Fortunately for me after a couple of years my wife took to New Orleans and is no longer homesick for Wyoming I never did have to use my plan to order a big cast iron fence in the shape of MOUNTAINS.......

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Revised: 03/11/06