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

Tobacco Road

Urbanna, Virginia

 

— The Museum in the Streets® —

 
Tobacco Road Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 25, 2021
1. Tobacco Road Marker
Inscription.  Right in front of you is one of the oldest roads in America, Prettyman's Rolling Road descends to the waterfront at the end of Virginia Street. The early economy of Virginia was built from the growing and selling of tobacco. Urbanna Creek provided 14-feet of deep water where large ships from New England, the British West Indies and Great Britain could sail inside the creek. Lighters, barges and other craft were used to carry wooden hogshead full of tobacco leaves, each weighing 1000 pounds, out to awaiting ships. A tobacco warehouse was officially established in town by the Virginia Assembly Warehouse Act of 1713. Warehouses were located near the end of this street. The custom house, still standing directly across from here, was where the business of selling and grading of the tobacco took place. The Tobacco Inspection Act of 1730 gave warehouses the power to destroy substandard crops and to issue bills of exchange for good crops that served as currency. The law centralized the inspection of tobacco at 40 warehouses in the colony. By 1769, Urbanna, Cabin Point, Yorktown, Port Royal, Aquia, Dumfries and Occoquan were Virginia's officially
Tobacco Road Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 25, 2021
2. Tobacco Road Marker
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small tobacco ports, and the town flourished in the half-century before the American Revolution. Tobacco was the number one export, however small grain such as wheat and corn, peas, beans, flour, hemp, lumber and flax seed were also shipped from the colonial town's seaport. The ships brought with them all types of goods from Great Britain and around the world, which fueled Urbanna's commerce. Scottish factors (merchants) from Edinburgh and other Scottish towns, realizing the commercial potential of these small ports, established retail stores. The building here on this site is the last Colonial Scottish Factor store left in America.
 
Erected by The Museum in the Streets®. (Marker Number 12.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureColonial EraIndustry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the The Museum in the Streets®: Urbanna, Virginia series list.
 
Location. 37° 38.197′ N, 76° 34.395′ W. Marker is in Urbanna, Virginia, in Middlesex County. Marker is on Virginia Street (Virginia Route 602) 0.1 miles east of Cross Street (Route 227), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 130 Virginia St, Urbanna VA 23175, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking
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distance of this marker. Urbanna Museum & Visitors Center (here, next to this marker); Tobacco Was Money (here, next to this marker); John Mitchell’s Map (here, next to this marker); Old Tobacco Warehouse (a few steps from this marker); A Hub For Commerce (a few steps from this marker); Prettyman’s Rolling Road (a few steps from this marker); The Backyard Garden Was Essential (within shouting distance of this marker); Sandwich (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Urbanna.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 25, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 27 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 25, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Dec. 7, 2021