Did you know Connecticut has region known as "Tobacco Valley"? Tobacco is a major cash crop for the state and was a major economic booster in the mid-19th century...
Settlers from Europe learned about tobacco from the Native people of North America who used tobacco in pipes. In the Connecticut Valley, farmers have grown specialized tobacco used for the two outside layers of cigars - the binder and the wrapper, since the early 1800s. This type of tobacco is known as Shade tobacco and has been recognized as the finest cigar wrapper in the world.
In the mid-19th century, an area which ran from Springfield, Massachusetts, to Hartford, Connecticut, had become a center for cash-crop production and was known as “Tobacco Valley.” Commercial tobacco production expanded dramatically in the early 1800s thanks to the growing popularity of cigars among men in the U.S. It brought in millions of dollars and provided a source of work for thousands of young people fourteen or more years old. At its height in acreage in 1925, there were 30,000 acres of tobacco in Connecticut alone.
It's still a major cash-crop for the state
There are a couple of types of tobacco grown in the area.
"Connecticut shade tobacco is a tobacco grown under shade. Around the year 1900, Connecticut tobacco growers were facing increased competition from Ecuador, specifically the Sumatra region. However, when Sumatran seeds were brought to Connecticut to grow, they were getting scorched by the sun and dying. In order to use these seeds, tobacco farmers pioneered a technique called shade-grown tobacco, where a cheesecloth is placed above the tobacco plant while growing to prevent direct sunlight."
"The results were fantastic, and this technique quickly spread to other varietals of tobacco and other growing regions. Not only does this cheesecloth limit the sunlight that can damage fragile leaves, it also increases the temperature and humidity of the air around the tobacco plant increasing yields." Source
|barn on the right is opened for drying|
On Hubbard Street in Glastonbury there's an abandoned cigar factory