Last week's picture was of the wattle fence at 215 S. Main St. The wattle technique is created by weaving branches or slats between upright stakes to form a woven lattice.
The technique dates back to the Neolithic Era, a period in the development of human technology beginning about 10,200 BC and ending between 4,500 and 2,000 B.C. The use of wild and domestic crops and domesticated animals came about during the Neolithic period, and in Colonial America these fences were still being built to keep critters and things out of gardens and to enclose livestock.
The technique is becoming popular again as a low-impact sustainable building technique. When Bill and Melissa Melvin bought the house four years ago, the fence was there "for the most part," said Bill. He tore down and rebuilt one side and will redo the other side this year. Because the fence is basically built with leftover sticks, you have to keep up with it or it falls apart as they rot.
The Melvin's wattle fence was built by the former homeowner about 10 to 12 years ago and is made with upright rebar posts with sticks interwoven. In Colonial times they buried larger sticks in the ground as posts. As tempting as it might be to build your own wattle fence with all the sticks in your yard, first check on the fencing regulations in your neighborhood.