Here in Oregon you will see most farm property boundaries marked with barb wire fencing on T-posts. Where I grew up the farms were established long before barbed wire and T-posts and their boundaries were marked in stone. On the Northeast Coast you can see stone walls where ever you go. They are a big part of the unnoticed background. You can be in a residential area or out in the woods and you will come across a stone wall that seems to go on forever.
One might wonder where all the stones came from and why they are in the middle of the woods, but then you realize that where ever there is a stone wall there was once a farm. Stones are hard on farm equipment and every spring they were picked out of the fields and they had to be placed somewhere, so they were used to build walls and homes.
During my years on the farm I recall the first chore of spring was to chain the stone boat to the tractor. I rode in the boat which was dragged back and forth through each field several times. When we’d come upon a stone I’d hop off and roll the rock onto the boat. When the boat was getting too heavy we’d drag it to where we built a dry wall out of the stones. We added several feet to that wall every year and I could see the handy work of those that had started the wall hundreds of years before I was born.
With the field cleared again it was ready to be ploughed, but we knew that just under the surface were another crop of stones that were ready to emerge during the next winter and become part of the on-going wall lengthening project.