North Carolina farmers have grown tobacco since the 1660's, but the biggest boom in production started in 1880 and lasted until the 1990's. Until the advent of modern machinery, farmers relied on hand and mule power to grow the huge supplies of tobacco demanded by the public. This exhibit highlights the days of traditional growing practices and explains the time and care needed to produce the "gold' in the golden leaf.
The exhibit is an update of the earlier "Tobacco Growing" display developed for the museum when it opened in 1984. It now includes a wider variety of photographs depicting a broader range of cultures and additional artifacts. Large items, such as a mule-pulled transplanter, are on display at the Iredell Brown farmstead.