My Dream for the Tobacco Stick Cottage
What's In a Name?
Why is it called the “Tobacco Stick Cottage”? This building in its former life was a curing barn for tobacco. Almost 20 years ago we needed a place to house workers from Honduras who were working for Gene in his fencing business and helping me to plant the vineyard. These young men, six of them, took an old tobacco barn and made it a home. We called it the “bunkhouse”. It had a combination kitchen/dining/living area and bathroom on the ground floor and a large open room upstairs for beds.
A New Purpose
It had been several years since the “bunkhouse” has been used for anything until I started to think about how my life would change when the winery was closed. I am not a person to sit and do nothing. It had the basics I needed to make an office and workspace but it needed considerable renovations.
I brought in a contractor to do the plumbing, electrical, doors and windows. I cleaned and painted the inside, stained the kitchen cabinets, laid the vinyl and carpet on the ground floor. It now houses all my vineyard and winery books, papers, medals, records from the past 20 years for both the winery and Iron Gate Custom Services. There was a covered area out front of the bunkhouse with a dirt floor. I wanted a porch, so we poured a concrete floor.
About 10 or 15 years ago, Gene came home from a job in South Carolina with a beautiful set of black wrought iron gates. The previous owner was going to cut them up with a torch. Gene knew I would love those gates, so he traded some fence work for the gates. All these years I never had a place for those gates, but I held onto them. Now those gates grace the front of my “Tobacco Stick Cottage”.
This place gives me a space to work and to dream. I hope someday after all the office work is done to turn it into an Air BnB for people like me who like places with a history.