Urbanna in Middlesex County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Tobacco Was Money
and this was where you made it or spent it!
In Colonial Virginia, tobacco was money - a product in high demand in England. Acts were passed providing for the inspection of tobacco to ensure quality and to make sure that correct payments were made for its sale and purchase.
All tobacco was to be brought to warehouses to be inspected and stamped. "Notes" were issued to complete the process. By the 1700's, Urbanna was listed as one of several official tobacco inspection centers.
Caption of photo in upper left hand corner
The James Mill Scottish Factor Store as it would have looked in the mid-1700's. This was a busy place, especially at harvest time. The men are rolling "hogsheads" (barrels) of tobacco down to the ships. The "rolling road" still looks about the same today.
Caption of photo at bottom of marker
The prize - a two-man operated screw press - was used to compress the tobacco into barrels (hogsheads).
Caption of photo in upper right hand corner
James Mills Scottish Factor Store. This facility - built in the 1740's - was not a warehouse, but served as a general store and probably as the tobacco inspector's office and residence. The store was stocked with over 500 different items available for sale or trade.
By Tom Fuchs, January 16, 2010
1. Tobacco Was Money Marker
Erected by Chesapeake Bay Gateway Network.
37° 38.194′ N, 76° 34.398′ W. Marker is in Urbanna, Virginia, in Middlesex County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Old Virginia Street and Cross Street (Virginia Route 227). Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Urbanna VA 23175, United States of America.
By J. J. Prats, January 16, 2010
2. Tobacco Was Money Marker
The building in this photograph is the restored James Mill Scottish Factor Store, also known as the Old Tobacco Warehouse, now the visitor's center. The porch and its foundation appears to have been added later.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old Tobacco Warehouse (a few steps from this marker); John Mitchell’s Map (a few steps from this marker); A Hub For Commerce (a few steps from this marker); Prettyman’s Rolling Road (within shouting distance of this marker); The Backyard Garden Was Essential (within shouting distance of this marker); Sandwich (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Middlesex County Courthouse (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Smith’s Snapshot (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Urbanna.
Categories. • Agriculture • Colonial Era • Notable Buildings •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 19, 2010, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 691 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on January 19, 2010, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. 2. submitted on January 24, 2010, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.