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.
Photographed By Tom Fuchs, January 16, 2010
1. Tobacco Was Money Marker
Photographed 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.
Additionally, the photo was taken prior to the walking tour signage was installed.
Click or scan to see
The store was stocked with over 500 different items available for sale or trade.
this page online
Erected by Chesapeake Bay Gateway Network.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture • Colonial Era • Notable Buildings.
Location. 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. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Tobacco Road (here, next to this marker); Urbanna Museum & Visitors Center (here, next to 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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Urbanna.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0
), November 25, 2021
3. Tobacco Was Money Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on November 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 19, 2010, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 792 times since then and 8 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. 3. submitted on November 25, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
Feb. 4, 2023