Rutted dirt roads find a path through peach trees to a spot that was carved out with the things needed to rest, raise a family, and do work 75 years ago, but have since become more field and woods than home and garden. We were invited out from a message saying Granddad's place was going away and it was time to let someone else love some of the things he kept there.
We went. The caretakers gave us free reign, and left us to make our way around with flashlights, bush hooks, and the resident just past puppy coon hound. Two of the three were necessary.
The barn door required more than a tug to get vines to let go a little and let us in. Things scampered in the dark and out through barn tin with gaps that a good wind could make groan. This was Granddad's spot to work, and his stool was still pulled up to the work bench like he left it.
We began shining lights into dark corners, climbed precariously over pieces of wood, metal, and iron to see what was behind, and slid through gaps in rough sawn boards to get into spots not walked through since the last time the seeder was stored away. We found things and not just the expected. Here are a few of the surprises.
Monetta Post Office Clerk Window and Letter Case
Pieces and parts need a home in a shop and the organizational needs of this work bench were met with the remnants of the local post office. What looked like primitive cubbies were letter cases scavenged from the Monetta Post Office, flipped with the cubby sides out and filled. Tractor parts, paper directions, tubes of grease, and other necessities sat for years, strained the wood, and left the marks of a life lived that was harsher than that of helping to correctly distribute the local correspondence.
The clerks window still slides well and the brass mail slot is attached firmly. The glass will need to be replaced, especially if you intend to maintain the fragile states of a few remaining paper name tags of some of the locals.
The wood letter case is backed in galvanized hardware cloth that allows the light to pass through while keeping the letters from being pushed all the way through. That is technology that stands the test of time. A few edges have been chewed and all are rounded from years of working hands passing over them. It will sit soundly on top of a counter or desk without attaching it to a wall.
We found it's front turned to the back wall, up on bricks, and piled with whatever in the back of the tractor shed. The utilitarian counter keeper’s side doesn’t look like much, but the 2 heart of pine boards making up the full width and length of the top told the story of something more. The top boards both have very tight grain without any major gouges or scratches from helping pull apart a John Deere. The front is embellished and mottled with the remnants of paint and varnish. Edges have rolled with age and the cut nails have wept a little rust. It is fine and large.
Edgefield Storage Jar
A break long ago is probably why this Edgefield Storage Jug lived some life in a dark corner of the barn filled with sprayer parts. The break was clean and the piece was kept with it. It's likely a glue up was on the to do list but that never happened.
We knew it when we saw it and have sent it over to Wooten and Wooten to take care of finding it a good home. They have this to say about it in the catalog for the upcoming auction:
Circa 1850, Edgefield, South Carolina, attributed to Stoney Bluff. The jar having a
single ring collar above high lug handles which favor Dave's work at this site. The body is ovoid and the glaze having an olive tone. The piece having an early crack at upper body which is through and through and restorable if so desired. H14 1/2" The piece was recently discovered in a barn near Gilbert South Carolina in its present condition
The link to the auction on September 7th follows: