The Prohibition


Last month, I purchased four barrels from a young couple who recently moved into a house built in the 1920’s. While they were doing renovations, they noticed that there appeared to be a false wall in their basement. They picked up their tools and put a hole in the wall; sure enough, there was a secret room. The only contents in the room were an old safe (pictured below) and the barrels, stored safely off of the dirt floor.

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I tried to contain my excitement when the owner was kindly showing me the basement and giving me the history lesson. Since the house was built during Prohibition, bootlegged alcohol was stored the barrels and then hidden in the secret room.

It was really hard not to hug a stranger from Craigslist before driving off with my ‘prize.’


And I was half expecting to see a line of cars following me home, or people shouting out their rolled down windows at stop lights, “Where’s the party at?”

There are so many things you can do with barrels, but I wanted to make larger versions of the barrel adirondack chair I recently made.


Deconstructing the barrels and cleaning the pieces was…interesting. You can see some of the dark amber residue from the liquor on the staves (and, ahem…permanently on the driveway now…oops).


I created my own template for the chair design. I wanted to have the bung hole in the center of the chairs, so the chairs were created around that piece. With each chair, the only pieces leftover were the lid/bottom, the rings, and one stave. (Just enough pieces for matching end tables to go along with the chairs!)

Each exterior screw is countersunk. The chairs are sealed with a satin shellac:


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Get a piece of history before it’s gone!

Four chairs and three tables are available for purchase.  Chairs have the option of a customized wine glass holder on the left or right armrest.  Each Prohibition piece comes with a tag with the history of the barrels used.

“The Prohibition” (tables or chairs) – please email me for wholesale or retail prices. A discount will be given for a set!

About Mel

My name is Mel, and I spend my time living, working and playing on the east coast. I'm a reclaimed wood artist who loves to continually find ways to repurpose wood and give it new life. "Nature Calls: Reclaimed Wood Designs" is my business dedicated to doing that! Thanks for stopping by!
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