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Barn-Livestock - $$3.95

The livestock barn is still seen on most farms. Upstairs, the loft was used for winter hay storage and with access doors at each end, went far to keep the downstairs cool in the summer. The cupola up on the roof always kept the air fresh and circulating. As you travel along the highways in the east, look hard and you'll still see old and peeling 'Mail Pouch' advertisements on some lucky barns. This one has an off-shoot for the small heard of milking cows. The main area is for equipment.

New England Painted Livestock Barn

Watercolor Painting of New England Farm by Derek Carter

Watercolor of the Painted New England Barn by Derek Carter


New England Painted Barn sketchThe average New England Barn had three stalls for three teams of horses. The horse entered the open stall from the back and walked up to the front of the stall where he was tethered. A rope or a leather strap was anchored to the manger at the front of the stall and was snapped onto the halter. The manger, a wooden trough across the front of the stall about four feet high, was filled with hay. At each end of the manger, near the top was a feed box. One for each horse. Each feed box was perhaps three times the size of a shoe box and was used for feeding grain.


The teams were brought into the stalls and fed prior to going to the field. They were brushed and curried and all harness sores were treated with medication. Then they were harnessed, given a drink at the large water tank beneath the windmill, and hitched to the machine that was to be used for the day. This took place at about six o'clock in the morning and they would work until noon, when the horses would be returned for feed and water while the farmer ate his noon meal.

What people say...
New England Barn sketchWhile the 5 foot tall genetically engineered mutant sheep were a concern, it's nothing you won't see at any agricultural school. and the 5000 lb bossie just caused me to look for a bag of kingsford, a book of matches and a steak knife. but the 60lb chicken, now that scares me, them things are vicious...Spar ky(9/01)

Fall is, of course, the most popular time for photographers to invade this bucolic farm in the hopes of capturing its image on film. In the wintertime, the red-painted farm buildings are particularly attractive when framed in white. George Spontak, Vermont

Who first painted an advertising message on a barn? No one knows for sure, but it's such a logical thing to do that it must have happened early on, probably right after barns began to be enclosed with planks over the original logs and sheet metal replaced shingle roofs. Usually located close to roads and presenting large, flat surfaces, barns were cheap and read-made billboards, which people with something to sell could not have failed to notice. Some even advertised themselves: On the plains of central Ohio, farmers of 150 years ago put their names on the great barns they built so the world would know of their achievements.Mail Pouch Barn

Whoever was first, it's generally agreed that the Block Brothers Tobacco Company of Wheeling, West Virginia, was the first to set up an organized, large-scale barn advertising program. Block Brothers began painting its "Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco" slogan on barns in 1897 and continued its campaign until 1993. Hundreds of Mail Pouch barns still dot the Midwest. The only comparable advertising campaign was waged by a tourist attraction named Rock City Gardens near Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Surgeon General's Warning: Chewing tobacco can make your face rot off.


Although it involved fewer barns over a shorter span of time, the "See Rock City" program may have been even more influential. Probably the third most asked question by travelers through the South in the 1940s through the 1960s after "Are we almost there yet?" and "When do we eat?" was "What the heck is a rock city?" Driven beyond endurance by the pervasive message of the ubiquitous barns and the chorus of pleas from back seats, millions of tourists made the pilgrimage up Lookout Mountain to see for themselves what a rock city might be.

Mail Pouch Barn

The sides of barns made ideal billboards along country roads in the days before interstate highways. Bloch Brothers Tobacco Company of Wheeling, WV, sparked the revolutionary idea, and its "Mail Pouch Barns" became roadside icons. Bloch Brothers began painting its Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco slogan on barns in 1897 and continued its campaign until 1993. More than 20,000 barns from Ohio and Pennsylvania, through the Midwest and as far a field as California and the Pacific Northwest were used to sell the chaw. This barn stands by a wheat field near Bryan, Ohio.

Dr Pierce BarnMany others have advertised on barns over the years, some of them extensively, but Mail Pouch Tobacco and Rock City were almost certainly the largest and best-known campaigns. Ruby Falls, another tourist attraction near Chattanooga, currently maintains a number of barns in Tennessee, and Meramec Caverns, an attraction in Missouri, has barns throughout much of the Midwest and as far away as eastern Kentucky. Mammoth Cave in Kentucky also has some barn advertising. Jefferson Island Salt once advertised heavily on barns, but their signs are fading out.


The stories of the Mail Pouch and Rock City barns are forever linked toRock City Barn two men, one the first barn-advertisement painter and the other the last. Clark By ers and Harley War rick were advertising men, for sure, but not your basic gray-flannel-suit types. It's doubtful either of them ever came within hog-calling distance of Madison Avenue, yet this homespun duo were key players in two of the greatest outdoor advertising campaigns of all time. Their work helped define an era in American folk history.

Barn Painting Ends:

The beginning of the end of the barn as a major advertising medium cam in 1968, when the Highway Beautification Act of 1966 - the so-called "Ladybird Law" took effect. Both Rock City and Mail Pouch Tobacco were forced to cut their barn painting programs to the bone.


A New England Barn in the autumn
New England Barn after an Autumn Rain
Jenne Farm, Vermont
Jenne Farm in Vermont

Directions to Jenne Farm... before leaving Woodstock, Vermont, on Route 106 South.

From Woodstock, the farm is about a 15-minute drive. You'll want to keep your eyes out for Jenne Road on the right-hand side.

Just how "famous" is Jenne Farm? If it looks oddly familiar to you, there is a good reason. Photographs of the farm have appeared on posters, note cards and calendars.

Jenne Farm has also graced magazine covers, appeared in a Budweiser commercial and served as a setting in movies such as Forrest Gump and Funny Farm.

Nevada High Country Barn
Barn in the High Country of Nevada
Owens Valley, California Barns
Barns and early snows in the mountains
New England Barns in winter
Wintering the New England Barns
New England Farm Barns in Fall
New England Barn by a Pond

Catw and New England Barn door