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Historic Tobacco Warehouses

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c. 1900–c. 1905. Mill and 1st sts. and the 400 block of N. Main St.
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Virginia Department of Historic Resources)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)

These warehouses were the domain of such wealthy tobacco dealers as R. S. Paulett and Walter Grey Dunnington, who maintained a nearly monopolistic hold on leaf grown on southern Piedmont farms. New products, including cigarettes, brought restored prosperity to tobacco dealers in the last decades of the nineteenth century. By 1905, most of Farmville's old frame warehouses had been replaced with brick ones. Tobacco was stored and processed in these warehouses before being sold to manufacturers, many of whom were European. Paulett's and Dunnington's warehouses are the most prominent of the twelve warehouses now used as showrooms by Green Front Furniture. Three stories in height, these handsome brick structures with corbeled and stepped parapets celebrate the wealth extracted from thousands of small red-clay tobacco farms. The interiors have exposed brick walls and unfinished posts carrying heavy bridging beams and joists. Eschewing traditional joinery, the builders used relatively thin joists with X-bracing and common rafter roofs supported by diagonal braces and purlins butted and bolted or toe-nailed together, not tenoned.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee


What's Nearby


Anne Carter Lee, "Historic Tobacco Warehouses", [Farmville, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Virginia vol 2

Buildings of Virginia: Valley, Piedmont, Southside, and Southwest, Anne Carter Lee and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 267-267.

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