Packhouse Window

I went for a walk yesterday afternoon and passed an old tobacco packhouse on our farm.

A packhouse is a structure with an attic for storing cured tobacco and an earthen basement for adjusting the humidity of the leaf, or to get the tobacco “in order” so that it can be graded and packed for market. I spent a lot of my early youth watching my grandmother and the other women in my family grade tobacco leaf by leaf. My grandmother also used the packhouse to hang her quilting frame and I can remember the ladies gathering there to work on their quilts.

Not far from the packhouse is an old curing barn, where the harvested tobacco was hung and cured, first by wood heat and later with oil or gas-fired heaters. As you can tell, neither structure is in use today, but both stand testimony to another time.

(images copyright 2008 by Dan Routh)

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