Friday, June 22, 2012

Stone Wall Stories - #4 The Sheepcote

My Mum and I checked out the sheepcote
at the 2005 Wyman Family Reunion

The Francis Wyman house was built in Woburn (now Burlington), Massachusetts in 1666.  It is located on 56 Francis Wyman Road, and is owned by the Wyman Family Association.  Every fall there is a reunion at the homestead.  The first thing all the kids (big and little) do is to run over to the stone wall near the house and look for the “hidey hole” or “sheepcote” (a pen for sheep).

The entrance to the Sheepcote
This strange stone chamber pre-dates the 1666 house, and pre-dates European settlement, so it was probably never used as a shelter for sheep.  It is obviously too small for sheep, too.  There were Indian settlements nearby, but usually the Indians in this part of New England did not build stone structures.  The large stone which forms the “roof” of this structure would have been difficult to move into place without iron or metal tools.
The large "roof" stone of the sheepcote
I don’t know who named this the “Sheepcote”.  It is  a true history mystery!

The Wyman Family Association website

This post is part of a series of stories I wrote for this week all about stone walls.

Story 1 –  America's Stonehenge, Salem, New Hampshire

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

1 comment:

  1. Here's a contemporary view of the barns from earth. Like the main house, Daheim's barns are so complicated you don't notice the new metal roofed equipment shed (light green roof on the left) that replaces the grand old hay barn. When built during the first decade of the twentieth century, this farm was a model dairy. For the last half century it's seen a lot of hard use as a beef cattle operation'

    Stone Walls in Dutchess County