Where once stood vast numbers of sheds amid great swathes of tobacco, now stand houses, office parks and shopping centers. Such has been the evolution of the Connecticut River Valley near Windsor, Connecticut. The Tobacco Sheds of the Connecticut River Valley calendar, which features photographs of the remaining tobacco barns that still dot the New England landscape, aims to preserve the region's rich history.
Driving through the lush countryside, one might notice the nondescript oblong structures perched here and there in the fields. Most passersby probably do not know what they store, but the stock contained in their innards was once the lifeblood of an area now populated with different buildings bearing no memory of their agricultural predecessors.
According to the Connecticut Valley Tobacco Historical Society, in 1921, 30,800 acres were blanketed in green tobacco and the white tents that covered it. Today, the amount of land that yields Connecticut shade tobacco stands at 2,000 acres. Despite the greatly reduced crop, Connecticut Shade remains one of industry's great sources of wrapper leaf. To make sure the people and places that contributed to this bygone era are not forgotten, the Luddy/Taylor Connecticut Valley Tobacco Museum was built in Windsor to house photos and relics of Connecticut's cigar heritage. A portion of the proceeds generated from the sale of the calendars will go toward the museum and the Tobacco Historical Society.
The calendars retail for $15 apiece. Matted prints of the images are available for $12.50. For more information, call Blue Anchor Enterprises at 860-683-8486.