I realized quickly that I’d have to “think outside the box” to learn about my ancestors. I LOVE to interview people, and listen to stories about "the older days" when life seemed a little slower and simpler. I study USGS maps, plats, read chanceries, look for long forgotten cemeteries and try to help preserve memories people share with me. This blog is ad free, so it's easier to focus on sharing stories. Feel free to sign the guestbook, or join the FaceBook group. Even if we aren't related by DNA, I'd still love to hear about your research efforts and family stories. I am interested in posting (to this blog) stories relevant to the Mecklenburg-Brunswick families.

26 July 2009

Tobacco barn

Click on the picture to view it full screen. I took this picture 13 Mar 2004, off the road near Boydton. I was driving along, saw this, and stopped to get a picture. I'd never seen anything like it, so I took a picture because I thought it looked cool, and because I wanted to ask others what it was. It's what I imagined an old frontier house would look like, with rocks and plaster shoved in between the spaces of the logs. It really is leaning today. What puzzled me the most, was that the doorway was only about 3 feet high, and no windows. So I guessed it couldn't be a house. I started asking people what this building was. Well, this picture has reminded lots of people about their ties to similar old tobacco barns. I'm told that this was a Virginia tobacco barn, designed to smoke the tobacco dry. There were also the tall tobacco barns to hang the leaves in; but the Virginia heat and humidity, often caused molds to ruin much of the crop which is then a loss. So these tobacco barns were invented. I hear this barn is the type built about 200 years ago and this one may be that old. I hear this was a curing process that took several days. A little contained fire was kept to smoke it dry. Several men camped by this type of tobacco barn and took turns tending to the fire and curing. I've also heard stories about this being how Brunswick stew started. It was made while the men were doing the camping & curing. And that was the expected meal while preparing the harvest. It seems this picture is of another old timer thing being long forgotten, so wanted to post this piece of old Virginia history.

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