|The town pound in Lyndeborough, NH dates from 1774|
|Photo of sheep grazing the common at Old Sturbridge Village|
by Thomas Neill
|Town Pound, Wilton, NH 1773|
The pound was overseen by the pound-keeper whose job was to feed and water the impounded animals as well as to collect the money when animals were reclaimed. Not only was there a fine to be paid to the owner whose land had been violated by the stray animal, but also a daily fee to the pound-keeper for the animal's upkeep. If animals weren't claimed within several weeks, they were sent to local markets where they were sold, with the proceeds going to the pound-keeper. Needless to say, being the village pound-keeper was a sought after job; an esteemed position right up there with the fence viewer. Today, most of the original town pounds in New England have disappeared but several, like those in these photos, have been maintained through the years to remind us of the connections to our early agricultural roots.