|Welcome to the “My Place” page
My name is Scott
I run the Rope and Wire website.
My original idea for this page was to give those living in the country the opportunity to tell others about the things that made their farm or ranch so special.
Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that either no one likes to brag or no one lives on a farm or a ranch. Whatever the case, no one submitted an article so I felt it was high time to try something different.
So for now this will be literally “My Place.” I’ll use this page to post a western blog or short articles. They will either be mine, or possibly one from a contributing R&W community member.
The theme will remain Western but the content will change weekly, or there about.
If you click on any of the links to past blog's, you can return to this page by clicking on the My Place button across from my picture.
I hope you enjoy it but if not, might I suggest you “stroll the grounds.” Read a story or watch a movie.
Thanks for visiting.
The fabric of our landscape is woven together with barbed wire. It has infiltrated our lands and changed our way of life.
It’s interesting to me how such a simple piece of wire has had such a major impact on the lives of so many people. Barbed wire has been loved and hated ever since Joseph Glidden’s simple invention was first patented in 1873.
It was indeed a history changing invention. Some men praised it while others cursed it. Some men became rich because of it and still others died over it.
A little history…
Before barbed wire there was no effective way to fence livestock. Lumber was basically non-existent on the prairie and shrubbery took too long to grow to be of much use. The plains were unencumbered by fences, and cattle ranchers were able to drive large herds of cattle across country to pre-determined railheads where they were shipped off to slaughterhouses back East.
But dramatic and permanent changes began to take place on the Great Plains as barbed wire began to snake its way across the landscape.
Native Americans called the new wire “Devil’s Rope” as it hindered their nomadic lifestyle. Free-range grazers were being squeezed onto an ever-dwindling supply of public lands, which were eventually overgrazed and effectively put an end to large-scale, open-range cattle enterprises. Trail Drivers grew ever more concerned that their herds would be blocked from reaching their markets by this new barrier.
As an ever-increasing number of landowners erected fences to protect their crops and livestock, those opposed to the loss of their independence began to cut the wire that blocked their way of life. The Fence Cutter Wars quickly became bloody and violent. Laws were quickly passed making it a felony to cut a wire fence. It proved to be an effective deterrent toward ending the violence.
As the Fence Cutting Wars slowly came to an end, and as the dust cleared, it was evident that the open range was a thing of the past, and the old way of life for a multitude of people would never be the same. The barbed wire fence was here to stay. A simple piece of wire effectively harnessed a nation and changed the course of history.