This old tobacco barn is located in Guilford County out near Kernersville, off Highway 150. Under the tin roof, you can see the original finish to the building. The wood and chinking is less evident where the building is painted red. To the right, below, you can see the old wood-fired oven, used to process tobacco the old-fashioned way. In this barn, tobacco is flue-cured, dried in the inverted U-shaped furnace on the right. It would have been fed pine logs to generate smoke. Through an elaborate drying system, the temperature of the tobacco filled barn is controlled. According to Our State Magazine, an acre of hanging tobacco can shed almost 5 tons of water.*
Although tobacco growing and processing has declined in North Carolina, tobacco is still a dominant crop in the State. If you get a chance this weekend, and you are local, drive into the rural areas surrounding Greensboro and you will see plenty of tobacco barns, most in some state of decay. Don't wait too long. In 1950, there were half a million tobacco barns in North Carolina. Today, there are around 50,000. The charm of the above building is enhanced by the tin roof.
*See Our State Magazine article for reference and to read more, here.