Historic Rock Fences
by Ken Grochowsky
Located one mile north of Matfield Green on Highway 177 in Chase County is Pioneer Bluffs, also known as the Rogler Ranch. One of the unique features of this ranch is the limestone fence that runs along its boundaries on the east side of the highway. According to a July 2008 article that appeared in the Topeka Capital-Journal, the state of Kansas offered to pay landowners 40 cents per rod (16 ½ feet) to build and maintain 4 ½ foot high stone fences. These fences kept grazing cattle out of crops and homesteads, and provided additional income to the property owners. In 1881, Kansas discontinued payments for these fences when the use of barbed wire began. The stone fence at Pioneer Bluffs dates to circa 1870.
Here’s a closer look at the stone fence entrance in 1911.
This photo shows the stone fence and corral at the entrance to Pioneer Bluffs in 1902.
Stone fence and cattle in corral
Current day rounded corner section of the stone fence