Sunday, July 08, 2007

Old Tobacco Barn

My wife and I hiked trails recently and came across a structure of which many people of today know little. This log building was constructed sometime in the first half of the twentieth century to cure tobacco. This type of building covered North Carolina's landscape during the period when tobacco was the king of cash crops.

Farmers made more money growing tobacco than other crops. Barns were needed to cure the harvested leaves. Mature tobacco leaves were brought to barns from the fields, hand-bunched in groups of 3 or 4, tied to sticks, then loaded inside the barn to completely fill the space from six feet above the ground to the roof. Heat was added and controlled for several days to bring the leaves to a bright golden color. The process was known as flue-curing.

This old barn is located at the base of Pilot Mountain State Park which is north of Winston-Salem, North Carolina in USA. In the top picture I'm shown recording the coordinates which are: N 36 degrees 20.261 minutes, W 080 degrees 27.515 minutes. Two more pictures are below. This site is along a walking trail on public property. A parking lot is located inside the park about one-half mile from the barn.

A hike to this site would be a good history lesson for young people before time and the elements erase these remnants of times past.

Have a good week!


At 7/20/2007 7:43 PM, Anonymous Jen said...

When I was growing up, I remember driving down rural roads or hiking in the woods and seeing old barns like this. They always seemed to be abandoned and leaning to one side, just ready to fall down. I remember thinking how fragile they seemed. I agree with you that soon, these structures that represent our history will be gone. It is sad to think about how these things can be erased. As I hike through trails and drive down roads now, particularly in the northwest, I notice that I am less focused on the man-made structures that exist and more interested in natural features. The most beautiful things I have ever seen are completely natural, part of God's magnificent and deliberate creation. Another reason to "take a hike"!


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