Sterchi’s Sign Barn, Jones County

This landmark, visible on Georgia Highway 22 between Gray and Haddock, is an amazing survivor from a time when the roofs of rural barns were used to advertise myriad businesses and attractions. The “See Rock City” barns have become icons, but many other businesses were promoted in this way. This example advertises Knoxville-based Sterchi* Brothers Furniture Company [It Costs Less at Sterchi’s], which was the largest furniture store chain in the nation in the early 20th century, with over 650 stores in the Southeast. There are only a few of these Sterchi barns documented, to my knowledge, and most are in Tennessee. It is believed that most are at least 80 years old. [Several commenters have suggested to me that the roof was painted over at times, most recently with a Georgia Bulldog; I applaud the owners for saving this historic sign and am amazed that the paint (lead, no doubt) has survived all these years].

*- Pronounced stir-keys

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