Virtual Tour of a Halifax County Tobacco Barn
This is a virtual tour of a tobacco-curing barn located on the Brandon-on-the-Dan farm in the unincorporated community of Alton in Halifax County. The barn was built about 1900 with hand-hewn, diamond-notched logs. The spaces between the logs were chinked with small pieces of wood and daubed with clay in order to make the barn as airtight as possible during the curing process. The barn originally had two “fireboxes”—wood-burning furnaces made of stone or brick that were connected to a series of pipes or flues that carried the heat along the floor of the barn and cured tobacco leaves in an even fashion without exposing them to smoke.
Brandon-on-the-Dan was a tobacco plantation adjacent to the Dan River owned by the Brandon family. The main dwelling house contains architectural elements designed by Thomas Day, a free black man who operated a furniture-making shop in Milton, North Carolina. Day, an established craftsman, did woodworking and produced furniture for houses throughout the Dan River region.