Brooklyn Tobacco Factory

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A relic of a leading Virginia industry, this plain but substantially built brick building is perhaps the state’s best-preserved antebellum tobacco factory. Located in the heart of Virginia’s bright-leaf tobacco belt, the two-story Brooklyn Tobacco Factory was constructed around 1855 for planters Joshua Hightower and Beverly Barksdale II, probably by the Halifax County builder Dabney M. Cosby, Jr. Uncommonly large for its rural location, the factory originally employed slave labor to produce plug or chewing tobacco. Tobacco for smoking and snuff was later manufactured here. The Brooklyn Tobacco Factory’s whitewashed interior walls remain untouched since the enterprise folded in the 1880s. The interior also preserves various specialized work rooms and remnants of original machinery. Following the factory’s closing, the building has been used for storage.

Last Updated: June 2, 2023

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

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