Monday, September 28, 2009

Tobacco in Crittenden County

The picture at the right is during the time Crittenden County grew tobacco for a cash crop. It was a busy day at the tobacco factory as this line of wagon loads of tobacco and men came into town to unload their crops.

From the files of The Crittenden Record-Press, Sept 1906, tobacco farmer, A. H . Cardin wrote the following letter to the Record.
Editor Record. I ask a small space this week to speak to the tobacco growers, as I am anxious for them to house and cure this crop of tobacco in good shape.

From all I have seen this is the best crop we have had for fifteen years and it will not do to handle it carelessly. If you expect to get a good price you must get it in the barn in good shape and fire it well, let it yellow well, then start your fires slow, say for 24 hours, then increase them for one day and night, then fire slowly for about ten days, just enough to keep the leaf dry.

If it comes in order a little at night dry it out during the day until it is thoroughly cured. The best color is a cherry red, the next best color is a rich brown or a solid dark.

This year you will need more barn room and more sticks, and you are liable to put too much on the stick and crowd it in the barn. You will have to guard against this or you will have house burnt tobacco. House burnt tobacco is almost worthless as well as sun burnt tobacco. You can make or ruin a crop of tobacco from the knife on.

Since the Trust has got control of the tobacco business they are very particular as to how the tobacco is classed, and if you are curing your tobacco by bad management, get mixed colors, it is hard to class, which will cut the price fully $1.00 on the 100 pounds. If you do not want mixed colors let your tobacco yellow well and fire slow in the start and fire until your tobacco is well cured.

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