Otisfield Town Pound

near 322 Bell Hill Rd., Otisfield, Maine

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Description 

Date listed: 12/30/2019

Criterion A: Agriculture Criterion A: Early Settlement Criterion A: Law Period of Significance: 1819 to 1882 Local Level of Significance The Otisfield Town Pound is near the geographic center of Otisfield, Oxford County, Maine. The stone animal enclosure is near the early settlement centered on Bell Hill and is the only known pound for the town. Construction of the pound was approved at the 1818 town meeting, and it was constructed by the first pound keeper Stephen Knight in 1819. The pound is locally significant under Criterion A for its association with agriculture, early settlement, and law. The rock structure reflects the region's early settlers legal response to managing wandering livestock. The town pound, like a town jail, provided a means to detain an animal that violated personal property rights. Pound keepers were appointed until 1904 in Otisfield, but the post became more honorary as agriculture in Maine declined in the later nineteenth century. The period of significance extends from the 1819 construction date to 1882 by which time agriculture in the area had declined, fencing had improved, and keepers were selected from outlying villages which made use of this pound inconvenient and infrequent.

Tags 

Maine (1,864)
Oxford County, Maine (117)
Structure (295)

Update Log 

  • March 2, 2020: New photo from Brian Bartlett
  • January 11, 2020: Added by Brian Bartlett

Sources