Fences of Manitoulin Island
We saw a lot of these split rail fences as we drove down lots of roads to get to destinations unknown. JB said he remembers seeing these fences as a child when he and his father visited his great uncle’s and great cousin’s farms in the Durham, Ontario area.
They were everywhere – on working farms, along the side of roads with no farms in sight, along the road with the woods creeping to overtake them. Some were fairly new and well maintained while others were in states of disrepair. And there was a variation of this split-rail fence.
I have a fascination with fences, I like their beauty but it isn’t a political issue where I believe land should be divided and fenced instead of allowing for free-range. I can’t come down on either side – but I appreciate good fences that are aesthetically pleasing and/or functional. These were functional.
As we drove and I observed the rocky fields I realized that a good portion of the island has very thin soil so it is impossible to dig post holes deep enough to keep a fence standing. Thus the people solved their problem by designing fencing that could support itself above ground. Another version of the second set of fencing is to build the triangle with two sides connected to the upright post and put large rocks on the side that lies on the ground. They used what they had – large numbers of cedar trees that are rot resistant and rocks and a little wire. I didn’t notice any duck tape or bubble gum.
Categories: Ontario Canada