BRIGHT LEAF & BURLEY TOBACCO CO.
SMITHFIELD NC: I am shocked that the Bright Leaf & Burley Tobacco Co. closed its doors in 1964. That was the year I first moved to NC when "bright leaf" tobacco was KING and the backbone of the Eastern NC farming economy.
But, times change; businesses and industries come and businesses and industries go. The only link to the past at this site is this wall. That's right, only this wall remains.
On the other side of this wall is a huge storage area for felled trees. It has become a site for the logging industry.
Brightleaf tobacco, Brightleaf is commonly known as "Virginia tobacco", often regardless of the state where it is planted. Prior to the American Civil War, most tobacco grown in the US was fire-cured dark-leaf. This type of tobacco was planted in fertile lowlands, used a robust variety of leaf, and was either fire cured or air cured.
Burley tobacco, is an air-cured tobacco used primarily for cigarette production. In the U.S., burley tobacco plants are started from palletized seeds placed in polystyrene trays floated on a bed of fertilized water in March or April.