Don Stevenson's Gallery
Mail Pouch Ad Barn: Original once stood near the North Carolina – Tennesse state line in the Blue Ridge Mountains west of Boone, North Carolina. Circa 1889 A One Bay Bird Feeder for Small Song Birds © by Don Stevenson North Carolina Folk Artist Dimensions: 13” W x 14½” D x 12” H Medium: Structure: Wood; Roof: Aluminum; Golden Artist’s Acrylic paint. Price: $850. This 1889 Mail Pouch roadside barn is an outstanding example of the first uses of late 19th Century farm buildings as the featured location for early American outdoor advertising originated by Block Brother’s Tobacco Company of Wheeling, West Virginia. Other commercial uses of rural roadside barns later advertised such products and places as Maxwell Coffee, Jefferson Island Salt, Rock City Gardens, Ruby Falls, and Merrimac Caverns. While not a commercial use, another similar use of outdoor signage proclaimed, “Jesus is Coming!” This classic example of contemporary American folk art has been vertically sided using resawn native Appalachian oak. Stevenson has used eight different colors and a special brush technique to achieve the rich weathered gray patina, “a color as if grown with age.” If the farm home was the place where the living was done, certainly the barn was where the living was made. In addition to being important shelter to large farm animals, it too was haven for the free running chickens and their brood, stray hen nests, the cats and kittens, the dawn proclaiming Dominecker Rooster, as well as the king black snake. Often the barn was also the center for family and neighborhood socials during the early October evenings around corn shucking time. The family would gather with neighbors to prepare the corn harvest for winter storage. On occasion it was custom to hide a red ear of corn among the many hundreds of bushels of yellow corn on the chance it would be found by a young neighbor lad, who having found it “could come calling” on the farmer’s daughter. These were simpler, less hurried days of our tradition and heritage.