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The Tobacco Barn

Long ago, The Highlands was a thriving tobacco farm. One of the original Tobacco barns was still standing when we purchased the home in 2002. We knew that it wouldn't be long before the Tobacco barn would be demolished, since a housing development near by considered the delapitated structure dangerous. Although I do agree that the barn was a crumbling hazard, it's still sad to see a piece of history demolished. This barn had not only been a part of the Highlands' property, but years ago boards from that very tobacco barn were used to build the walls in our existing kitchen. It's a shame it did not stand the test of time, as it was one of more than 150 Tobacco barns, representing over 175 years of agricultural history, that still existed in our county. This Tobacco barn was square in the main section and was built of heavy timber sometime in the early 1800's. A shed for tobacco stripping was built off of the left side of this structure. When Tobacco was curing inside, access was limited to foot traffic through narrow doorways spanned with large, hand-hewn sills.

One interesting side note about the inevitable burning of the tobacco barn: I was on my way to take my daughter to a dance when I first saw the smoke rising as the fire was begun by the fire department. I knew this time would eventually come, but it still made me sad to see it go; so sad, I even had to hand the camera to my husband to take the photos of the fire. That night we went out to dinner and I picked up a local paper on the way into the restaurant. Flipping through the pages, I saw a photo contest being sponsored by the local historical society. They wanted photos to show our county's heritage. The deadline was the next day and I knew there was no time to take any more, so I found four photos in my file of our home that I liked and I decided to also submit a photo of the barn in its memory. Ironically, of the 5 photos I submitted the picture of the tobacco barn during it's final winter was my award winning photo. Is it just a coincidence that I discovered the contest on the night of the burning and that the only photo that was chosen was the picture of that barn? Perhaps.