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Pull up stakes

Created date

April 2nd, 2009

It was common practice among early 17th-century American settlers to designate property borders using pike-like strips of wood, or stakes. These staked borders also served as fortifications against encroaching Native Americans, who settlers constantly feared. Finding and shaping the wood for this purpose was a time-consuming and labor-intensive practice, which is why the stakes went with the settlers when they moved. In time, the act of pulling up stakes became synonymous with a change of location, and it still holds the same meaning more than three hundred years later. "My family and I have decided to pull up stakes and head for the West."