Stancil, George and Eva


This tobacco barn, which is still standing, was one of the first built in this part of Beulah township. It was constructed by John Thomas Stancil about 1890. The building material was pine logs. They were straight, 8 to 10 inches in diameter and 17 feet long to make the barn measure 16 feet square inside.

A board 6 or 8 inches wide, the length of the logs, was put on them for a straight-guide line. Logs were hewed to proper size with broad axes. Tier poles were placed 4 feet apart for four rooms in the barn, leaving a space of 3 logs height between each tier for as high as the barn was to go. The tier poles were about 4 inches in diameter, with the bark peeled off Mortar made of mud was daubed between the logs to make the building as airtight as possible to hold the heat inside. Furnace and tin flues were used to generate heat to dry and cure the tobacco leaves.

Neighbors gathered to help the farmers build or raise their barns. This was called a work spell. Two men were put at each corner with ropes to pull the timbers up and they were secured with big nails. With tiers across the center the framework was rigid and strong.
The corner shown in the picture was run by Richard Godwin, the foreman of the construction crew. This barn was used for about 70 years. Ralph and George Ira Stancil, Jr. shown in the picture, have cured tobacco in this barn.

Memorial by the Stancil Children

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