Found Item – Porcelain Insulator

Porcelain Insulator

Our land is high in the mountains, away from the rivers and flat fertile valleys. As such, so I am told, it was never settled by the indians. We’ve never seen any sign of Native American settlements.

It wasn’t until the, some might say foolish, English bought plots of 100 acres each, sight unseen, in the 1700’s that people came to live here in these mountains. Many of those plots were steep mountains and marshes that the English folk were probably unfamiliar with and made for rather hard farming.

In the 1800’s this became sheep country – much of the land was cleared for grazing and hay. We see the signs of that clearly in the stone walls, trees, foundations and spring development. There was an entire village in our valley in the 1800’s going in to the 1900’s. Our old farm house is the last building standing from that time. At some point even our house, then called The Old Maid’s Place, got abandoned for human habitation. Sheep were sheltered here, in the house, for a couple of decades.

Our stone walls were a maze of broken barbed wire when we arrived. We’re still clearing up pieces as we find them, digging them out of the soil and from between rocks, discovering them with the chainsaw in old trees.

In 1985 electricity came to our valley. And there in lies the puzzle. Mr. Moody who kept the sheep here during the mid-1900’s didn’t have electricity so he would not have used electric fencing or porcelain insulators. So who did?

My best guess is Lloyd Hutchins, the gentleman we bought our land from, installed it for the two ponies that he kept here at his summer cottage, the farm house, for his grandchildren. One more found item from the history of this old land.

Outdoors: 51°F/29°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 64°F/60°F

Daily Spark: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” –Fred Rogers

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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8 Responses to Found Item – Porcelain Insulator

  1. Bill Harshaw says:

    I remember those insulators, though mostly ours were for temporary fences (one strand of barbed wire, steel posts, insulator attached by big cotter pins) so the cows could graze meadows after the first and only cutting of hay.

    I thought I remembered our using a battery-powered controller, but apparently not so. According to wikipedia, the idea goes back to the 1830’s.

  2. Darren Bauder says:

    In our area, the two telephone wires were sometimes used as part of the livestock barbed wire fencing thus eliminating the need for dedicated overhead wire and taller posts.

  3. Nance says:

    I love to find those “found items”. I pick up pieces of glass and broken pottery. I find railroad spikes and pieces of metal farm equipment, old tin cans, glass jars that held Vicks and Bayer aspirin. In the “olden days”, folks sent the trash out with the youngens to throw in the ditch or over the bank. Today, if my neighbors would move away, I’d dig up the old outhouse pit . . . between tenants. :) Do you have an old outhouse pit?

  4. Dawn Carroll says:

    I have insulators like that in the older part of my house. The electrical wires were run on them. When I bought the house the guy said that he disconnected all the old wiring when he rewired the house…well that just didn’t turn out to be true when my sawzall caught a wire that was supposedly “dead” and it sparked and continued to spark electricity even after turning the saw off…
    Anyway your insulator may not be from and electric fence but maybe from a house, barn, or shed wiring.

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