Shade Tobacco Barns, Grady County

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If you’re from Georgia, you probably don’t associate these images with tobacco barns but these aren’t just any tobacco barns. They’re among the last remnants of a highly specialized segment of the tobacco industry. Shade tobacco.

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Shade tobacco was grown for cigar wrappers in southwest Georgia, northwest Florida, and the Connecticut River Valley of Connecticut and Massachusetts. Wood-framed arbors and later, cheese cloth tents, filtered sun and kept insects away to achieve the higher grade of tobacco required for cigars.

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Shade tobacco was grown in the United States from the 1840s until 1975. Most production in Grady County was finished by 1965, though, as Imperial Tobacco (previously American Sumatra) ceased operations.

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Few shade tobacco barns survive in Georgia in any condition and well-preserved examples are rare. Thanks to Gaile Eubanks for help with the location.

 

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6 Comments

Filed under --GRADY COUNTY GA--

6 responses to “Shade Tobacco Barns, Grady County

  1. Mary

    I have seen these barns and was not sure what they were. However, I was very familiar with the flue cured tobacco barns in Colquitt County where I grew up. Thank you for this interesting bit of “tobacco lore.”

  2. Sandy Elder

    I grew up in Columbia County Florida and the main crop was tobacco and the barns were quite different . That was the first thing that caught my eye. Very educational….I love it. Thanks Sandy Elder

  3. I never knew shade tobacco barns existed.

  4. ben dooley

    Great info and pictures Brian. We started frequenting the Florida Gulf coast in 1983 and now have a 2d home in the Apalachicola area. When we began going through the area there more than a dozen of these lovely old barns visible from the highway between Bainbridge, GA and Hosford, FL. Today I think only 2 remain. It is interesting to hear your description of the type of tobacco cured in these barns in your post. It confirms what I learned for the first time only last October from a roadside produce seller south of Quincy FL. She has several photos of tobacco harvesting on display and explained the history of the barn still standing near her stand. Her family grew Shade tobacco when she was a girl.

  5. Raleighwood Dawg

    Great pictures, Brian! Thanks for posting them.

  6. Interesting! I never knew we grew tobacco in Georgia! Thanks for sharing….

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