Select the photograph below that applies to the property of interest.

House Types Barn Types Barn Features Outbuilding Types Landscapes Archaeology
Boundary Demarcations

Hedgerows, medium-height plants such as arbor vitae, wild blackberry or raspberry, and other plants sometimes define a boundary. These could range from a deliberately planted and carefully maintained hedges on a farmstead, to boundaries serendipitously "planted" (by birds and other wildlife) along an existing fence.

Tree-lines between fields or along property boundaries often survive.


Treeline, Franklin County, age unknown

Fencing - Types of fencing have varied historically. Fencing was one of the biggest expenses and accounted for a significant amount of time and labor, too. Early fence laws called for farmers to fence their crops; later on, the onus shifted to livestock owners to fence their animals in. Typically, a farm would display a hierarchy of fencing, with more elaborate finished fencing (such as picket fence or post and rail fence) nearest the house, and the least refined the farthest away.

For more details on fencing, see Eugene Cotton Mather and John Fraser Hart, "Fences and Farms," Geographical Review 44:2 (April 18, 1954): pp. 201-223.

Drawing of David Croft's farm in Bradford County
Stump, worm, post-and-rail, stone, and picket fences, Bradford County, 1878
(From David Craft, History of Bradford County, Pennsylvania, 1878.)


Drawing of a farm utilizing a stone and wood fence
Board fence and stone fence, Bradford County, 1878
(From David Craft, History of Bradford County, Pennsylvania, 1878.)

Barbed Wire - this type of fencing revolutionized Western agriculture in the late 19th century, but it was adopted in the East, too. There were many types of it.


Barbed wire, Centre County, c. 1940

Woven Wire - woven wire fencing became popular early in the twentieth century and was especially popular in areas where livestock were raised.

 
Woven wire fence with a single strand of barbed wire, Centre County, 1941
(Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information
Photograph Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs
Division, Digital ID fsa 8b14632.)