Taking the Backroads: Native Stone Fences
A few weeks ago, I traveled to Salina, Kansas, about two and a half hours west of Kansas City. After about an hour on the fast, but boring, I-70, I exited onto the 56 mile long Native Stone Scenic Byway through Shawnee and Wabaunsee Counties. This “One Thing, Three Ways” post is of the native stone fences that frame the grasslands and ranching areas along the the byway.
The fences date back to a law from 1867 that abolished the open range and provided a payment of 40 cents per rod (about 16 1/2 feet) to landowners to fence their land. Native limestone is plentiful in the area, so pioneers (mostly immigrants from Germany and Sweden) constructed miles and miles of stone fences still standing today along the Native Stone Scenic Byway.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite below?
Native Stone Fence Photo #1. Stacked stone fences run for miles and miles in the Flint Hills along the Native Stone Scenic Byway.
Native Stone Fence Photo #2. Back in the late 1800s, pioneers built the fences by stacking abundant, native limestone first horizontally and then vertically at an angle to comply with a law ending the open range.
Native Stone Fence Photo #3. Today the fences are “reinforced” by barbed wire fences like the one visible in this photo.
On Today’s Date in the Past:
Great pictures! I really love the 3rd one! I haven´t been to this part of Kansas. I think I should change that the next time I visit. 🙂
Clearly, you need to come back and visit us very soon! These native stone fences are only about 1 1/2 hours west of Kansas City.