Our earliest ancestors who settled in Virginia about 1630 and later moved to North Carolina in the early 1700’s were believed to have grown tobacco.
In 1804 our ancestors moved to Tennessee and settled a few miles from our present day farm location and purchased many acres of land and so began our family’s history of tobacco growing in Tennessee.
Our family’s heritage of growing tobacco as a cash crop continued until 2002 when after 150+ years and many, many generations of tobacco farmers it all came to an end. After raising tobacco for over 38 years myself, I was the last
one in the family to grow tobacco for farm income. It was a heart wrenching decision to make but with the politics and the never ending obstacles in producing a tobacco crop in the 21st century I felt it was the only practical
option. I still grow a little for the pure enjoyment of 'working' the crop. It is in my blood and my earliest memories are of being in the “tobacco patch”.
With the loss of tobacco as a cash crop for farm income and with my years of working at preserving heirloom and old open-pollinated varieties my interests naturally lead me towards preserving the rare tobacco seed varieties of
long ago. I can remember my grandfather talking of some of these old varieties. So I began to search out and hopefully locate some of the old varieties and grow out to see if they matched the original historical documentation
and if so, place them back into growers hands to insure their continued preservation.