Some Interesting Facts About Tobacco Growing in Lindley

After posting the photo of Don Gorges in his Father's tobacco field,(June 25,2014-blog),I remembered writing the following report. I hope it helps explain a little of why tobacco was such an important part of Lindley's agricultural history.

Tobacco growing was a major”cash” crop from about 1864 to 1948/9.(Most of the other crops raised were used to maintain the farm.)
Tobacco growing was a family affair with wives and children assisting in the process.
In 1864, 5000 pounds of tobacco were grown in Lindley.
  Profits from a tobacco crop afforded the grower a means of having cash for paying his taxes, buying land or even a car.
A tobacco crop was usually 2 to 10 acres.
  Prices ranged from 3 1/2 cents to 33 cents a pound.
One acre could produce 1200 to 1500 pounds.
  Weather and tobacco worms could destroy a crop and the grower’s dreams.
Tobacco grown in Lindley was ideal for the manufacture of cigars.
The Civil War generated a demand for more tobacco, but cigarettes during WWI slowed the demand for need for cigar tobacco.
  In WWII, the shortage of farm labor, caused local farmers to cut back on their tobacco crops.
  Local tobacco barns have horizontal side vents as opposed to the vertical vents seen in Big Flats.
26 Lindley farmers are listed as growing tobacco in the early 1900’s.
  18 are recalled as growing tobacco in the 1930/ 40’s .
  Each farm growing tobacco had a tobacco barn for the curing process.
The Clineburg/Bronson/ Adam’s farm had 3 tobacco barns at one time.
A tobacco barn was usually about 24/28x100 feet and 20/24 foot high with tiers of poles five- foot apart for hanging and drying the tobacco.
  Cost to build was $200 to $600.
  At last count, Lindley still has 6 tobacco barns used for storage purposes.

CM Pierce 10/2006

Unfortunately, since 2006,several of the tobacco barns have met their
demise.

Photo of tobacco barn on Stuart/Knapp farm (from Kathy Biggio)

Have a safe and happy 4th of July-2014             Kitty

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