"When Garner Rix returned from Montreal after the Revolutionary War the Town of Royalton gave him the land that we now own. At that time there were no stone walls surrounding our property. Garner cleared the land and moved the stones to the side of the fields to create the stone walls that formed the property lines that divide our property from our neighbor's property. The stone walls that Garner Rix built were built to last."
Beautiful stone walls by Granfather Rix, but this was not wilderness; it was part of the Abenaki Homeland for about 15 thousand years or more. Prime land to be acquired by Colonists of the 18th century was the already cleared floodplains where Abenaki women were planting, among other things, a landrace of corn that would grow at this latitude.
Below Turtle Vision Version, Possibly Native American:
The artistic placement, heads of animals and spirits (and animal spirits?), resembles possible Native Stonework elsewhere, that "Indian Look" I keep going on and on about. I also added a clam shell and smoke from some smoldering Abenaki Kinnickinnick since I saw a little spot, also seen elsewhere...
Garner Rix's Stone WallBy Evelyn Saenz
"When Garner Rix cleared his land in Royalton, Vt. he found many stones. With oxen, sledges, ax and muscle he cleared the fields of those rocks and built stone walls. The stone walls that he built still surround the fields.
Growing up in Vermont I learned that these stone walls kept the cattle in the pasture but having helped my dad raise cows and seen how easily they can jump a fence I began to wonder how this was possible.
Did the cows stay in because they preferred the fields to the woods? Not likely as cows enjoy standing in the shade on a hot summer day.
Were the stone walls higher at one time but now have fallen down? No, there is no evidence of stones in that quantity around the farm and all the other stone walls in Vermont seem to be the same height.
While walking along the stone wall last summer I came across a clue. There is a section of stone wall where the trees have been allowed to grow up. Wooden posts are carefully nestled in between the rocks of the stone wall. Square nails are sticking out of these posts that once held boards that spanned the distance between the posts.
A fence with this type of construction used to run in front of the house and it was certainly tall enough to keep the cows in.
The mystery was solved. The wooden fence had rotted away but the stone wall remains."
I'll add that I suspect stone rows became legal fences when the rails were added to satisfy a legal requirment and extinguished any Indian claim to the land, the precident set back around 1620 when the Puritans invented the legal fiction - with people who had no concept of private ownership of land and no idea what a lawyer was...