The Old Road Series - Plate IX

Release Date: March 1982
Edition Size: 1000 S/N
Issue Price: $35.00
Print Size: 16 x 24
Secondary Market Value

Today it is necessary to leave the fast-paced Interstate highway and drive the peaceful old road to see one of the few-remaining Mail Pouch Tobacco barns that once dotted the rural countryside. And even then, most are faded, sagging, abandoned, and in need of repainting and repair.

In 1966, the Federal Highway Beautification Act denounced advertising along most sections of federally funded highways. However, seven years later Congress passed legislation protecting such barns, if the individual States would declare the structures "artistic, historic or nostalgic in nature" and therefore “preservable.”

By the 1980s, nearly 1000 Mail Pouch barns remained in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York. Even a few faded antiques remained in California and Oregon. Since the last Mail Pouch barn painter, Harley Warrick, died in November 2000, most of these venerable American landmarks are losing the battle with time. Before his passing, Harley estimated he had painted over 12,000 barns in 46 years on the road.

Double Mail Pouch signs as painted here were often found at major intersections—where signs could be read from several directions. Located in Harrison County, Indiana—the left side faces State Highway 111 and to the right is State Highway 211.