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Barn Owl Press
5555 Montgomery Drive #35
Santa Rosa, CA 95409
(707) 579-6895

11 November 2018 NEWS!   Below is today's Amazon ad for TANKHOUSE, with 2 used copies for sale at $43.10 and $73.02!  If you can't buy a brand new copy of TANKHOUSE or SILO at your local bookstore, you can get one promptly from Barn Owl Press at the above address for $33.00 including tax and shipping.  We accept cash, check or postal money order.

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This ad is unusual.  Ordinarily Amazon has no copies to sell at any price, and tells you that TANKHOUSE is  "Out of Print -- Limited Availability." DON'T BELIEVE IT!  The book is NOT "Out of Print!"* BARN OWL PRESS no longer sells through Amazon ("Limited Availablity!"), but we do continue to market brand new copies of both TANKHOUSE and SILO through our loyal retail booksellers, who offer them for under $30 (Amazon's price for a new copy was $43.95!), and we also accept orders for either book from individual buyers @ $33 ($28 plus $5 for tax and shipping).  Pay by check, cash or postal money order to Barn Owl Press at the above address.  Below you see the usual Amazon ad:

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*Definition from Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Lamguage Unabridged: "out of print: not procurable from the publisher or from ordinary new-book sources because the printed edition has been exhausted -- used esp. of a book."

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22 November 2017 NEWS FLASH!      BARN OWL PRESS has just published its second book, also written and illustrated by Tom Cooper: SILO: Redwood Towers of California's Sonoma and Marin Counties.  In the last quarter of the 19th century, dairy farmers in America began to feed silage to their cattle.  This book follows the author's search for the origin of a unique and peculiar type of redwood silo, true vernacular architecture, which he has found only in Sonoma and Marin counties in California, and documents the results of his research citing and illustrating contemporary early sources.  The book includes color photographs of 23 silos still standing between 2008 and 2016, and the circular concrete foundations of others no longer standing.  SILO is the only book on these remarkable structures, dating from the late 19th century.  They became obsolete in the 1950s, replaced by the large silage storage pits now often seen in rural areas of the country, with plastic sheeting covering the silage and held in place by old automobile tires. 
This 54-page book is published in a limited edition of only 200 numbered copies.  If you don't find it at your local bookstore, you can order it from Barn Owl Press: price is the same as for TANKHOUSE$33 ($28 plus $5 for tax and shipping).  Pay by check, cash or postal money order to Barn Owl Press at the above address.


             TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                       Page

List of 42 color Illustrations                                                                      x                                                                      
Chapter I:         A peculiar design                                                            1
Chapter II:        Structure and function                                                     5
Chapter III:       Looking for answers                                                        9
Chapter IV:       They're disappearing                                                     23
Chapter V:        Who built them and when?                                            31
Appendix:         Two 19th-century ads & a note on redwood                  41
Acknowledgments:                                                                                 45


Barn Owl Press was established in 2011.  Our first book, TANKHOUSE: California's Redwood Water Towers from a Bygone Era, by Thomas Cooper, is the only available book on these remnants of an ingenious, wind-powered domestic water system for the home and garden.  Most tankhouses were built entirely of redwood: frame, siding, water tank and roof shingles.  The system consisted of the tankhouse, a hand-dug well and a windmill over the well; the windmill pumped water from the well up into the redwood tank, from which it flowed by gravity pressure into the house and garden.  Tankhouses date back at least to the 1850s, when California had just become a state, and perhaps before.  In their day they served homes both on farms and in towns.  They became obsolete in the 1930s with the advent of water mains, deep drilled wells, electric submersible pumps and modern pressure systems.  Today they are an almost extinct species, victims of commercial, residential, industrial and agricultural development.
 
 
Many thousands of tankhouses were built in California, where they probably originated; they were built almost entirely of redwood, at a time when the state's redwood forests were thought to be inexhaustible.  Although most have now vanished, they can still be found in most of California's counties, Oregon and other neighboring states, Texas, the midwest and even the eastern United States. California's tankhouses were built in a variety of types, the most widely seen of which are illustrated on the back cover, which can serve as a field guide.
 

TABLE OF CONTENTS:                                            Page

List of Illustrations                                                     ii

Preface                                                                      vi

Acknowledgments                                                      vii

Introduction                                                 1

Chapter 1    Early days: 1850s - 1890s                           7

Chapter 2    Heyday: 1890s - 1930s                              25

Chapter 3    Decline: 1930s - Present                            43

Chapter 4    An interlude with owls                               61

Chapter 5    Survival: 1950s - Present                           67

Chapter 6    Nostalgia: Tankhouse look-alikes               88

Chapter 7    Back to the future?                                    97

References                                                                100

Appendix:    Operation, structure and dating               102

    The windmill                                                         102

    The brake                                                             104

    The water-level gauge                                           105

    The well                                                                106

    The tank                                                                107

    The structure                                                         110

    The nails                                                                112

    The roof                                                                 113

    Dating                                                                    113

The book is softcover (sewn, suitable for binding), 8 1/2 x 11", 124 pages, with over 150 color illustrations.

ISBN 978-0-615-4396-1 

TANKHOUSE is available at selected independent bookstores, including

Builders Booksource, Berkeley 
Copperfield's Books, Healdsburg
Copperfield's Books, Petaluma 
Copperfield's Books, Santa Rosa
Levin & Company, Healdsburg 
Readers Books, Sonoma 
Sonoma County Historical Museum, Sonoma
West County Museum Shop, Sebastopol

Books are also available  direct from Barn Owl Press: ByBarnOwl@gmail.com)
 
Thomas Cooper, the author, continues to photograph tankhouses and silos and talk with their owners.  He posts a webpage with information and photos obtained after the book was published: https://sites.google.com/site/tankhousetomsplace/tankhouse.
 
For a recent feature article in the Sonoma County Press Democrat about the book, the author and tankhouses, see