Hello, I am Blake Tyner and welcome to the first episode of Down The Road. This new series, Down the Road, is going to be looking at aspects of history from around the country. So, sit back, kick up your feet and enjoy this trip down history’s road.
In 1898 the firm of Caldwell and Carlyle along with L. H. Caldwell and Q. T. Williams built the first tobacco warehouse in Lumberton. It was that same year Kenneth M. Biggs gathered a group of men together to form the Lumberton Tobacco Market. Their slogan was the “Border Belt’s Best.”
By the 75th anniversary of Lumberton tobacco in 1973 there were twenty-four warehouses with over 35 acres of space operated by six firms: Hedgepeth operated by E. H. Collins and Albert Thornton Jr.; Star operated by Hogan Teater, D. T. Stephenson and Russell Teater; Smith operated by Jack Pait; Cooperative managed by L. D. West; Liberty operated by R. H. Livermore Sr. and H. D. Goode; and Carolina operated by J. L. Townsend, Sr. and James Johnson.
In 1975 the Lumbee Warehouse the first native American warehouse opened on Second Street in Lumberton by Ralph Hunt and Howard Oxendine.
Most of the tobacco warehouses were located either downtown along Second Street or either out on Pine and Cedar Streets
In 1899 Fairmont had its first tobacco warehouse to open. By the 79th anniversary they were shipping out a million pounds of tobacco a day at a cost of a little over $137 a pound.
Elliott Jerome Chambers was known as the daddy of the Fairmont Tobacco Market he operated a warehouse in Fairmont more than 40 years and was also oldest warehouseman in the Border Belt.
The price of tobacco fluctuated from $26 a pound in 1919 up to $137 in 1978. The lowest was period was when the depression hit in 1931 and they were realizing just $11 a pound.
I hope you have enjoyed this quick look at the history of the tobacco market in Robeson County. Make sure you comment below on what you thought of the video, follow us on our website blaketyner.com. Also feel free to send us any ideas for future videos that you would like to see. So, join us each week on Down The Road.