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18th-19th Century Turnpike Fence
In 18th century America, the poor the road system was a major problem. State and local governments had small bureaucracies and limited budgets which prevented a substantial response from the public sector. Out of necessity enterprising private citizens set up turnpike companies to build and maintain these vital arteries. Investments came from local landowners, farmers, and merchants, who realized the convenience, increased trade, and development that the roads would bring. Many were already comfortable with using private toll bridges, which by their very nature, faced little toll evasion – a serious problem for toll roads. The solution lay in the venerable turnpike fence. Their study construction and height of anywhere from from 4 to 6 feet dissuaded all but the most determined freeloader.