No Fences Make Good Neighbors

World War II scrap metal drive in front of Herrick Memorial Library. Photo 970869 of "Wellington Family Album" Collection, Herrick Memorial Library. Permission to display generously granted by the library.

World War II scrap metal drive in front of Herrick Memorial Library. Photo 970869 of “Wellington Family Album” Collection, Herrick Memorial Library. Permission to display generously granted by the library.

Current residents of Wellington who read yesterday’s post may have been struck by the following quote that I included, written by William Howk: “The bolts fastening the gate to my iron fence were broken off, N. Huckins’ fence and bars were broken and torn down, as was also the gate and gate-posts at Mrs. [Bertia] Adams’” (The Wellington Enterprise, 11-21-1878, pg. 3). The Italianate at 600 North Main Street–the only house mentioned above that still stands–does not have any metal fencing around it today. In fact, cast iron fences around properties in the village are rare. Where did all the fences go?

The answer, I am told by those who have lived here since the first half of the twentieth century, is that during World War II there were local metal drives to support the national war effort. The undated photograph above shows the results of a single Wellington collection. Many people donated non-essential farm equipment and even tore out their decorative metal fencing. It would have been considered unpatriotic not to do so.

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