Growing up we were taught the precise way to get through a barbwire fence without getting pricked. Place your right hand in-between the barbs on wire 3 and press down into wire 2…grab both wires together to support your weight.  Your left arm and left foot go through first, (keep your back flat) followed by the right leg. When you are through release the wires.

Dating to 1874 barbwire fencing is historically the most cost-effective, and simplest method to keep cattle from roaming onto neighboring land.

At Folkway Design & Wares Co., the pursuit of great items for our boxes takes us all over, and we recently we came upon Four Wire Road in a rural Texas town. The name struck us instantly…barbwire fences usually have five wires. Having helped our grandparents mend fences with thick leather gloves, Texas Department of Agriculture how-to books, and a few slipped expletives when we didn’t hold the wire tight enough…left a lasting impression of the basics of barbwire fencing. 

Four Wire Road is indeed lined with a fence containing only four strips of barbed wire. It breaks all the rules…the things that could happen with only four wires…bulls would scoff and bust through in pursuit of a rendezvous, and baby calves would duck under to hang with the cool kids on the other side of the fence. None of this would be acceptable barnyard behavior.

As it does in a small town, word got around quickly that folks from out of town were looking at property for sale off Four Wire Road. After the sale, the neighbor explained that 3 generations ago when his family bought the land his grandfather built the fence with four wires. Neighbors were puzzled about why he did this and how he was going to keep his cattle in. He politely explained that it was simple…he had well-behaved cows. Generations later the fence is still holding the families cooperative bovine and the road is named in homage to the strange four wire fence.