A rousing wildflower welcome to Paty Jager today! Paty lives on a real-life ranch and writes awesome western romance. She’s taking Tanya’s place (who’s recovering from Hawaiian jetlag!) and giving away a copy of Davis: Letters of Fate to one lucky commenter. Please check back tomorrow to see whose name flew out of the Stetson!
Fence- that partition between yards that makes for good neighbors. A fence keeps the neighbor’s animals from traipsing through your garden, yard, or field. It’s also a good way to make a clear distinction on boundaries between properties.
Fences have been around for thousands of years. The first ones were built of stone, wood, ditches, and growing plants. When people came to America, they brought with them the types of fences they knew. You’ll find many stone fences in the eastern United States that are still standing.
But as people moved west, they found areas without rocks and few trees. They had to come up with fencing that could be put up quickly and easily and was easy to transport.
There were a handful of men both in the U.S. and Europe who started designing a better, light-weight type of fence. Lucien B. Smith of Kent, Ohio was issued the first patent in the U.S. for barbed wire. This was in 1867. It was found that the sharp barbs or strips of metal wound into the smooth wire was the best deterrent to keep cattle inside fences.
In 1874, Joseph F. Glidden of Dekalb, Illinois received the patent for the modern version we see today.
Depending on where you live you’ll see this cattle corralling wire called by several names: barbed wire, barb wire, bob wire or bobbed wire.
Not only did the early farmers and ranchers put up fences to keep their animals in and others out, they also could section off areas, moving animals from pasture to pasture when the feed became short, allowing it to grow back. Fences made animal husbandry easier. It also took away jobs from cowhands. With the fences, less men were needed to keep the animals in an area while they grazed.
Fencing in the 1800’s required a shovel to dig a hole for the posts, wood posts, barb wire, and fence pliers. The holes were dug, the posts “planted”, and then the barb wire was stretched from one corner of the fence to the other and stapled to the posts.
In the early 1900’s they came up with a post hole digger. It had two handles and basically two shovels that you shoved into the ground, pulled the handles apart, and scooped the dirt out of the perfectly round hole. My family used this type while I was growing up and my husband’s family had one.
These days there are many auger type post hole diggers. But the way my husband and I put corner posts and gate posts in the ground is with a backhoe. We use reject power poles for our brace posts. They can be as much as 12-18 inches in diameter.
When building a fence you need good sturdy brace posts. These are at corners and gates. These posts need to be set in the ground well to withstand the tension of the stretched wire. It’s a good idea to have a brace post on either side of the corner post. It helps to keep the corner post from being pulled one way or the other by the tight wire.
The first book of my Letters of Fate historical western romance series, Davis, deals a bit with fences and one rancher who uses fences to gather more land than he owns.
Widowed with two small children and a ranch to run, Mariella Swanson knows she needs help, but isn’t sure her heart, or neighbors, will accept her marrying a stranger. When the greenhorn shows up, smoking a pipe and wearing a derby hat, she can’t help but wonder if agreeing to this marriage may prove to be her biggest mistake.
When Davis Weston receives a letter from his sister asking him to marry a friend, he scoffs at the idea. However, losing his wife and son has left him a lonely man, and the whispers from others that he didn’t do enough to save his family has gone on long enough. His arrival in Oregon may be worse—these neighbors are doing more than whispering. Guns and horses aren’t his forte. He’s willing to learn, but is he willing to love again?
Historical western filled with steamy romance and the rawness of a growing country.
Windtree press http://windtreepress.com/portfolio/davis/
Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 25+ novels and over a dozen novellas and short stories of murder mystery, western historical romance, and action adventure. She has garnered a RomCon Reader’s Choice Award for her Action Adventure and received the EPPIE Award for Best Contemporary Romance. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. This is what readers have to say about the Letters of Fate series- “…filled with romance, adventure and twists and turns.” “What a refreshing and well written love story of fate and hope!”