It is said that ”Good fences make good neighbors”, and  I think there is a lot of room here for discussion .
I grew up without fences on our property or the abutter’s  property.  We had good neighbors……..did they?
Some of the fences I remember served another purpose.
A fence near my back yard ran from Seaview to the South River in South Marshfield.  It was installed by the Railroad c. 1870….. not to keep the Locomotives in, but to keep livestock out!  They were Red Cedar posts with three to four strands of barbed wire. I bet there still are remains between Pinehurst Drive & Ferry St.

Barbed wire fence.

Post and split rail fence

Post and split rail gates and fences could be found all over the town.
The posts were  logs with two or three oval holes drilled through them.  The holes were wide enough for two tapered ends of the split rail to slide into the hole from opposite directions.  The rails could be slid out easily for passing through if it was a gate. They are still widely used.

The guard rails on Summer St. along Keene’s pond and across the street were quite different.  The top rail was set on steel posts, rather unique, and a 4×4 was set into a “v” topped post so the edge, not the flat, was up.
This is the only place I noticed this application……. I expect it was built and installed by the Town of Marshfield Highway Dept.

An unusual corner- edge-up rail fence.

A well built plank-top with a skirt fence.

This next fence I had always admired.  It first caught my attention because of it’s barn red paint job.
This ran from near the intersection of Summer & Elm St., then along Ferry Hill Rd. to Grandview Ave.
I suspect it was installed by Victor Belanger, along his Belangerville property to hold his valuable livestock.  The remains of that fence could be seen into the 1970’s.

The Sea Street bridge guardrail .
Railing  sketch  is not the original guardrail .

This fence, guard rail had to be tough, salt air, sun, ice & snow were its enemy year around. The original wood fencing was replaced by this wood &  pipe guard rail. A 2×6 afixed to the bridge foundation and three galvanized pipes were run through holes in the 2×6’s.

This fence was found along Ferry St. from Sea St. to Ireland Rd.

The below railing ran along Ferry St. from Ridge Rd. , north to the Sea St. Bridge.

The most beautiful fences were the hardest to build, made to last the longest, and unique in every way.  Hundreds of thousand’s of miles of them were built all over the world.  And they are not called fences, but referred to as ”walls”, ”stone walls”, and “field-stone walls”.

A beautiful wall with a  split rail gate.

This wall is on Summer St. ….now obscured by growth.

This wall boarders Ferry Hill Rd.

 No care needed, cannot be destroyed by storms, fire, ice, hurricanes, or whatever Mother Nature throws at them.  Damage, maybe, but they cannot be destroyed!

Another fence of field-stone was around the animal pound on Elm St. opposite Ferry Hill Rd., on the N.E. corner of  Holly Hill.

These Pounds could have had most any kind of fencing around them.
Escaped and lost livestock would be rounded up by a good neighbor and locked in a pound to await it’s rightful owner.

 New England stone walls have been built from the beginning of the New World by the Early Settlers.  Many were lost to development, neglect, re-purposed, or stolen to be used to build fireplaces, decorative walls, and entrance-way pillars.

One doesn’t destroy a stone wall…..one just relocates it.  If you start at Summer &  Main St., and travel south, stone walls line both sides. Where stone walls are missing, look close at the foundation of a nearby home.
A good example is from Summer St. and Station St., north,   then traveling south on Summer St., to Station St., south. The wall is missing.  However,  the homes at 189 & 207 Summer St., have field-stone foundations!
No,  not stolen……the walls were part of the  property and simply re-purposed.

189 Summer St.’s  Foundation

”The walls around us bear witness to lives past and present”
Jose Parla

A favorite photo of mine is this view of the Sea View  Village from Hatch’s Hill , ( Holly Hill). Stone walls everywhere— and  they still exist!


W. Ray Freden.
Seaview/ Marshfield,  70 years.

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