NYHIST-L Archives

June 2005


Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Walter Greenspan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 1 Jun 2005 10:10:55 EDT
text/plain (37 lines)
On 6/1/05 (7:25:21 AM MDT), Peter Holloran ([log in to unmask]) writes,

"Massachusetts and Connecticut still grow tobacco today. You see it driving 

The following (follows my name) bit of information on the Connecticut tobacco 
farming industry has been extracted from:



Walter Greenspan

The Connecticut River Valley was immortalized in the 1961 film "Parrish", 
which starred Troy Donahue as an ambitious young man trying to make a living 
working on a Connecticut-shade tobacco farm. An evil tobacco baron played by Karl 
Malden gets in his way.

There's far less tobacco in the ground today than there was when Parrish was 
filmed. Growing reached its peak in 1921, when 30,800 acres of shade a year 
were planted in the valley, according to Bade. In those days the growing region 
stretched from Portland, Connecticut, all the way up to Brattleboro, Vermont. 
The shade tents seemed to go on forever, as if some giant had wrapped most of 
the valley with bright white cloth, like a Christmas present. 

"It was the second largest industry in Connecticut, behind insurance," says 
George Gershel, senior vice president of tobacco for Consolidated Cigar. 
In the days when the United States was still a major producer of handmade 
cigars, Connecticut supplied much of its wrapper. The creation of homogenized, or 
sheet, tobacco wrapper in the 1950s ushered in the decline of the valley. 
Sheet tobacco is the particle board of the industry, a mixture of chopped scrap 
tobacco and an adhesive, which is extruded into a sheet that can be cut to any