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chew MAIL POUCH tobacco barn paintings

We found a barn in Washington County, Pennsylvania with tall and narrow lettering. I asked Harley Warrick about the unusual lettering and he said, "The letters are just like Don Shires, the person who painted it, "tall and skinny." Another barn in Ritchie County, West Virginia is located on a seldom-traveled road and owned by a retired schoolteacher. I asked her why Mail Pouch would advertise in this location and she explained that "I was a friend of Samuel Bloch," one of the Mail Pouch owners.

Over the years Mail Pouch barns have the tendency to "ghost." This occurs after the barn has been painted many times. But why do some barns "ghost" and not others? Most barns were painted by Harley Warrick and he told a fellow barn hunter, Lonnie Schnauffer, that it was just as easy to cover the old sign and start with a new painting. I wonder why more barns don't "ghost." I imagine this question will never be satisfactorily answered.

My wife Thelma and I always check barns for initials and dates. This tells who painted the barn last and the year. The initials are usually found on the blue border although previously initials were located near the roof so that the eaves gave protection from the weather. The most common initial we find is "HW" for Harley Warrick. We also find "MT" which I believe is Mark Turley. "RW", "DM" and "TN" are initials we only found once. The barns with legible dates indicate most barns were painted every three to four years.

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