Why You See Boots on Fence Posts In Washington State
You may have been driving through rural Washington State, seen a boot sitting on top of a fence post and wondered why? Your not the only one. I grew up in rural Washington State and I had no idea when I saw one for the first time. If you see one what ever you do, don't remove it because it is there for a very special reason.
When a farmhand or an important person on a farm passes away or moves on to another job, the boots or a single boot are set on top of a fence post on the property as a memorial. Sometimes it is because of a death, sometimes it is just to remember or show appreciation for a past employee of the farm.
It is not just people dying or leaving the farm, boots could also set on fences to honor animals that have died or been sold. Usually owners have very strong bonds with their horses after years of training or care, so just like people, they will honor them with boots.
Long ago, boots on a fence could mean a few different things. Ranchers used to put them on posts facing different directions if there were "home" or "away". They would point the boot towards the entrance in they were home, and away if they were gone. Sometimes they put them on poles because they were worn out and used them for decoration or to protect the ends of poles so they didn't have to be replaced often.
What ever you do if you see boots on a fence, DO NOT touch them because they are there for a good reason.