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 [graphic] National Register Bulletin Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Rural Historic Landscapes

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U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service

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TYPES OF RURAL HISTORIC LANDSCAPES

[photo]
Drainage ditches and canals divide the agricultural fields and flat plains of Lake Landing in Hyde County, North Carolina. Implemented in the 19th century, this system made possible water transportation and the farming of swampy lowlands. Coastal plain cottages represent the common housing stock of the region. (J. Timothy Keller)
Rural historic landscapes usually fall within one of the following types based upon historic occupation or land use:

* agriculture (including various types of cropping and grazing)
* industry (including mining, lumbering, fish-culturing, and milling)
* maritime activities such as fishing,
* shellfishing, and shipbuilding recreation (including hunting or fishing camps)
* transportation systems
* migration trails
* conservation (including natural reserves)
* sites adapted for ceremonial, religious, or other cultural activities, such as camp meeting grounds.

Although diverse, these types all contain substantial areas of vegetation; open space; or natural features that embody, through past use or physical character, significant historical values. Buildings, industrial structures, objects, designed landscapes, and archeological sites may also be present. Many will be integrally related to historic activities and contribute to the significance of a large historic district. Some may also qualify individually for listing in the National Register.

Rural historic landscapes, especially those composed of a variety of land uses, may incorporate more than one of the types listed above. While this bulletin introduces a methodology that can be used for evaluating all of the above types, it focuses primarily on agricultural properties.

 

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