CANCELED CT Valley Tobacco Museum Tour

Events > CANCELED CT Valley Tobacco Museum Tour

Brilliance In The Valley Poster, Connecticut Valley Tobacco Museum
Brilliance In The Valley Poster, Connecticut Valley Tobacco Museum

Have you ever wondered about the fields covered in white cloth often seen in central Connecticut? Here’s your opportunity to learn more about them. Since the early 1800s, many farmers in the Connecticut River Valley have grown tobacco, specifically for the outside layers of cigars. The shade-grown leaf from this area has long been recognized as the finest cigar wrapper in the world.

The Connecticut Valley Tobacco Historical Society was formed in 1987 to preserve the history of cigar-tobacco agriculture. It operates a museum in Windsor’s Northwest Park for this purpose. A tobacco curing barn was moved to the site and remodeled to accommodate exhibits of early and modern equipment used to grow the crop. A new facility was also built to serve as an archive to preserve and exhibit photographs and other documents related to cigar-tobacco agriculture. We will tour the tobacco curing barn with Duane Adams, a local expert on tobacco agriculture. A longtime teacher in the public schools, he also worked tobacco summers for most of his life. He will explain the process of growing and harvesting shade-tobacco and the various tools, machinery and artifacts associated with it. The Library of Congress has an extensive interview with Mr. Adams in its permanent collection.

We will also visit the archives building to view the new exhibit, Brilliance in the Valley. This exhibit is about the college students (one of whom was Martin Luther King Jr.) from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) who came to Connecticut in the summer to work the tobacco fields and earn money for their higher education.

Driving directions are on the Museum’s website. If you would prefer to carpool, contact us for help with arrangements mansfield.historical@snet.net, 860-429-6575). You are welcome to bring lawn chairs and a picnic lunch to enjoy on the grounds.

Through this exhibit, you can experience first-hand how HBCU “migrant” labor has shaped the Tobacco Valley and its communities through interactive exhibits, educational programs, and events.

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