“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Dry Fork in Pittsylvania County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Bright-Leaf Tobacco Barns

Bright-Leaf Tobacco Barns Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, June 8, 2017
1. Bright-Leaf Tobacco Barns Marker
Inscription.  By the latter decades of the 19th century, bright-leaf tobacco harvested across Southside Virginia was typically cured in hand-hewn log barns outfitted with wood-burning stoves. Inside these barns, tobacco leaves were hung from sticks that rested on horizontal tier-poles. Flues (or ducts) distributed heat, which cured the leaves while protecting them from smoke. The leaves were then stored in pack barns, graded for quality, and sent to auction. Flue cure tobacco barns were retrofitted with oil and gas burners after World War II and fell into disuse with the introduction of bulk-curing barns in the 1970s.
Erected 2014 by Department of Historic Resources. (Marker Number L-55.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Department of Historic Resources series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1870.
Location. 36° 45.078′ N, 79° 23.021′ W. Marker is in Dry Fork, Virginia, in Pittsylvania County. Marker is on U.S. 29 near Dry Fork Road
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(County Route 718), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Dry Fork VA 24549, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Whitmell P. Tunstall (approx. 2˝ miles away); Beavers Tavern (approx. 4˝ miles away); Rawley White Martin Residence (approx. 4.7 miles away); Peytonsburg (approx. 5 miles away); Markham (approx. 5 miles away); Pittsylvania Court House (approx. 5.3 miles away); Pittsylvania County Confederate Monument (approx. 5.3 miles away); Bilhartz, Hall & Co. (approx. 5.3 miles away).
Also see . . .  Barn Raising. Article by Randolph Walker at Excerpt: “ The sun still beats on the old tobacco barns of Pittsylvania County. Rain still patters on tin roofs. Wind still blows around the edges of plank doors. But the smell is different. For a hundred years, from the rise of bright-leaf tobacco after the Civil War until the 1970s, the rich aroma of curing tobacco filled the barns every August and September. Now there’s just the earthy smell of dirt and weeds.

“The sound is different, too. During the curing season, each barn was filled with the voices of men, women and children, owners and tenant farmers, white and black, tying leaves together and hanging them in the barns where they would cure for three to five days. Some 26 million pounds
Bright-Leaf Tobacco Barns Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, June 8, 2017
2. Bright-Leaf Tobacco Barns Marker
of tobacco was produced in the county in 1965 during its heyday. Most was shipped to Danville to be auctioned to companies including R.J. Reynolds, Philip Morris, Liggett & Myers and American Tobacco.” (Submitted on June 17, 2017.) 
View from the Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, June 8, 2017
3. View from the Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on June 17, 2017. It was originally submitted on June 17, 2017, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 432 times since then and 143 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 17, 2017, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.

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Dec. 2, 2023