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Tobacco Curing

Mohler Farm

Tobacco Curing

38.5733147, -76.5824821

1550 Clay Hammond Rd, Prince Frederick, MD 20678

Many thanks to Carolyn and Philip Mohler for sponsoring and hosting the "Tobacco Curing" square, and to Bruce Schmale and Jamie King - the great installation crew. The square was designed and painted by Janet Jones and Sue Mills.
Philip and Carolyn Mohler choose to show “Tobacco Curing” on their barn quilt square, located at the site of a small plantation Clahamman circa 1700, a time when tobacco was used as currency. This honors the historical significance of tobacco to Calvert County life and economy from the 1600’s until the late 1900’s.
This average sized tobacco barn contains fifteen rooms. The painting depicts three rooms of tobacco hanging on tobacco sticks which are shown through the barndoors.
After being cut in the field, the stalks were “speared” on the tapered end of a tobacco stick on which a metal spear had been placed. Tobacco was then hung in the barn for air curing in preparation for “stripping” (removing the leaves from the stalks). The leaves in this square are in the early stage of curing. They eventually turned to a light brownish shade when they were “in order” or supple from humiditybefore stripping. At that time, the stalks were pulled off the stick and the stripping occurred. The leaves were tied into “bundles” or “hands” using a tobacco leaf. Then the bundles were packed and sold in hogsheads or sold in “burdens”. The burdens were layers of tobacco bundles placed in tobacco baskets. The burdens were about five feet high and most weighed between one hundred and two hundred pounds.

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