Preservation Virginia has partnered with JTI Leaf Services for the past five years to provide a Tobacco Barns Mini-Grant program to restore historic barns in Caswell County, North Carolina and Halifax and Pittsylvania Counties in Virginia. We’re pleased to highlight one of our recent projects, the Bray Tobacco Barn.
The tobacco barn owned by Joe Bray is located on R and L Smith Road on White Oak Mountain in the Blairs community of Pittsylvania County. The White Oak Mountain area is known for having the best soils in the state for growing bright leaf tobacco. The barn was built in the early to mid-1900s and is a typical log curing barn with a tin roof. It originally had stone fireboxes that were changed later to oil burners.
The barn was part of a large farm owned by the Adams Family who purchased it from the Reynolds family. The Reynolds family produced tobacco and also sold fertilizer from the farm during the World War II era.
Before the repairs, the barn was in poor condition. The repairs included replacing sections of the roof and replacing the boards in the gables. The foundation stones were re-laid and the front lean-to was rebuilt. A small ledge or eyebrow on the front of the barn was also rebuilt using cedar shingles. Fortunately, the logs were in fair enough condition that none had to be replaced.
A neighbor has recently painted a quilt square and hung it on the side of the barn which has generated a lot of interest in creating a barn quilt trail in the county. Adjacent Franklin and Halifax Counties both have barn quilt trails.
For more information about the Tobacco Barns Mini-Grant project or to apply for the 2018 Grant cycle, please visit: https://preservationvirginia.org/press-room/release/2018-tobacco-barns-grant-cycle-announced