State historical highway marker to be dedicated in Pittsylvania County

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PITTSYLVANIA CO. – A state historical marker issued by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources will be dedicated Friday.

According to a news release, the marker recalls the numerous bright-leaf tobacco barns that once dotted Pittsylvania and other Southside Virginia counties.

The marker is sponsored by Preservation Virginia, which has served as the ringleader of efforts to repair tobacco barns and raise awareness of the region's tobacco heritage.

According to the marker, bright-leaf tobacco barns emerged in Southside during the late 19th century.

The unveiling and dedication ceremony begins at 11:00 a.m. at 10452 U.S. Highway 29 North in Pittsylvania County. The ceremony is open to the public.

Refreshments and a tour of a repaired flue-cure barn will follow the marker's unveiling.

Text of the marker:

Bright-Leaf Tobacco Barns

By the latter decades of the 19th century, bright-leaf tobacco harvested across Southside Virginia was typically cured in hand-hewn log barns outfitted with wood-burning stoves. Inside these barns, tobacco leaves were hung from sticks that rested on horizontal tier-poles. Flues (or ducts) distributed heat, which cured the leaves while protecting them from smoke. The leaves were then stored in pack barns, graded for quality, and sent to auction. Flue-cure tobacco barns were retrofitted with oil and gas burners after World War II and fell into disuse with the introduction of bulk-curing barns in the 1970s.