Tobacco

Shade in the Dusk

Once the most popular cigar tobacco in the world, genuine Connecticut shade is in danger of disappearing forever
By Andrew Nagy | From Arnold Schwarzenegger, November/December 2019
Shade in the Dusk
Photo/David Yellen
Third-generation tobacco farmer Stewart Arnold only grew 15 acres of genuine Connecticut shade this year on his S. Arnold & Co. fields.
Motorists turning westbound from Interstate 91 onto Connecticut Route 20 near the small town of Windsor witnessed a sight this past June that would break the hearts of agricultural appreciators and cigar enthusiasts alike. For as long as residents can remember, a series of traditional barns used to cure freshly picked Connecticut shade tobacco could be seen from this part of the state highway, a roughly five-mile stretch known as the Bradley Airport Connector. But on this day, the barns were gone—reduced to wood piles. While locals were surprised, many were not shocked. After all, it’s no secret that the state’s once-bustling shade tobacco industry has taken a sharp …
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