Two events in my life cataloged the end of my childhood. One was the death of Mr.Rogers in my freshman year of college, the other the burning down of a childhood sanctuary weeks before I started college. It’s the latter I want to write about today—The burning down of the octagonal barn, Linvilla Orchards.
The historic barn, built in 1914, housed many childhood memories of fall. My Mom would take us, my brother & I, there on Saturdays. It became a fall tradition of sorts. My brother liked to climb on the old fire engine they had in the field and I, I liked to run away from a line of the scariest looking chicken/bird creatures I’ve ever seen. My game went something like this: run up to fence; see bird with feathers coming out of its feet, run away. Run up to fence; see bird with fat nasty waddle (see red thing that hangs down from a turkey), run and scream. I’m not sure why I kept coming back to the fence, but I loved Linvilla for providing me the chance to run (and for keeping the birds fenced in).
Inevitably our games would end and Mom would drag us inside the octagonal barn so she could pick up apples and pie. I remember walking into a huge stone barn and the smell of apples and pies overtaking us. I wanted to eat everything all at once; Mom the health nut/granola type quickly gave us each our own apple. Have no fear she would also buy Strawberry Rhubarb pie, probably one of the few sources of real sugar my brother or I ever had in our childhood. You can still get these pies there (you’ll have to stand in a HUGE line, but it’s worth it, promise).
Anyway, Linvilla has rebuilt since the barn burnt down, and it’s pretty huge for fall. They have tons of stuff for kids and families, and a little nostalgia for anyone who visited the place as a child.