The Tobacco Leaf

History of the Quilt


Project Description

Evaluations of Accomplishments

Future Plans for the Project

Proposal Letter

Request to Commissioners

Biographies by Homemakers Clubs

Biographies by Friends of the Library


"Tobacco Leaf" -Harnett's Cash Crop

The United States Census of 1880 showed only 32 acres of land planted in tobacco in Harnett County, averaging 300 lbs. per acre. At present the State of North Carolina has been named "Tobaccoland". I In 1989, it produced more than any other state.

On Harnett's 8, 1.365 acres the average yield in pounds per acre is 1,996 pounds. The total pounds produced on this acreage is 16,696,540 pounds that sold for $1.68 per pound. Hence, the income into Harnett from all tobacco sold from all farms was $28,050,187.00 in 1989.

The Bright Leaf, which Harnett grows, as well as the state's Coastal Plains and Central Piedmont, is known to the trade as "Va."

The tobacco, Bright Leaf, in the field is green, and when cured, it becomes golden brown. Up until the first few years curing was done in a fog wood barn, and fired with wooden logs. More recently the log wood barns have been replaced by bulk barns, that burn fuel oil or propane gas while curing. Darker tobacco, called burley, is grown in the mountains, and requires no curing by heat, only air drying.

Tobacco is a year round visitor attraction in North Carolina. Tours during working hours are conducted for visitors at cigarette manufacturing plants in the state such as those in Durham, Winston Salem, and in a new factory outside Charlotte, called Tobaccoville.

When the sales of tobacco are made in numerous warehouses in the tobacco growing sections of the state, the tobacco auctioneers' chants can be heard from August until October. There are four belts where tobacco is sold: (1) Border, in towns near the state's borders, (2) Eastern, primarily in Tarboro, Wilson and Greenville, (3) Middle, in Sanford, Fuquay-Varina, and Durham, (4) Old Belt, in Roxboro, North Carolina and Danville, Virginia.

Willie Campbell was the last black farmer to plant large acres of tobacco in Harnett County.

The sandy soils of the county are particularly favorable for tobacco growth.

The only auction market in Harnett County is in Dunn at both warehouses -Lee-Planters and Tews.


Written by: Grace Black, Member

The Norrington Extension Homemakers Club

Statistics: 1880 U.S. Census

Harnett County Cooperative Extension Service

Quilt Square: Row 4, Number 22

Embroidery and Applique by: Grace Black, member Norrington Extension Homemakers Club

and: Bea Bell for Norrington Extension Homemakers Club