My kids decided I should have this doorknob, which was tucked away inside “The Shed” as our family always referred to this 1915 tobacco barn. In the late 1980s, my grandpa and dad built in a bit of a workshop, which divided the barn into two parts. The door that was added had this porcelain doorknob on it.
The barn is not much to look at these days, and the land is kind of claiming it back as its own, with bushes crowding in around it. Inside, this doorknob definitely stood out as a bit of finery among ancient rusting and dusty items, from an old forge to a grease-encrusted work table, to the cages where we once briefly had chickens. I have a very early childhood memory of the shed being lined with machinery and tractors (a yellow tractor? perhaps my parents can confirm or deny this?). As a preteen, my sister, a close friend and I established a hideout up the ladder on the ceiling of the “workshop,” which we didn’t frequent very often. There were always disturbing sounds in The Shed: raccoons? We weren’t about to find out at the top of a dark ladder.
My favourite feature of The Shed was actually the large wooden rain barrel, tucked away behind the building. It’s still there today, hedged in by time. The day I discovered that rain barrel, I felt like a true time traveller.
Here is an early picture (1915) showing the farm at the time, with The Shed standing in the right of the picture, about 100 metres from my parents’ home where I grew up. I’ve collaged this picture into a painting, thus the paint.