6767 Division Street South

In April 1921, The Kingsville Reporter wrote: “A GOOD MOVE. An old land mark, which for a long time spoiled the appearance of Division St., the old red mill, opposite W.A. Smith’s residence, was yesterday purchased by John Swallow, who will tear down the mill, sell the material and will put the lots on the market.” Built in 1885 by G.W. Green, the buildings included a saw mill and handle factory. The saw mill burned down in 1893, but the factory was saved and expanded to also produce packing boxes for the canning company. In 1905, the “Green red mill” was renovated by the Ontario Cigar and Tobacco Co., and was later used by the Foster Tobacco Co. and Bailey Tobacco. This house, located on the old mill site, was built in 1945 for Josephine Whittle after the death her husband, Carleton.

The G.W. Green & Son’s red factory, on Division street, has been invaded by a number of carpenters who are refitting it for the use of the Canadian Cigar Co.

The Kingsville Reporter, January 19, 1905 p.5

It takes something over 300 window lights to replace the ones broken in the last few years in the red mill, which is being rebuilt for the Cigar Co.

The Kingsville Reporter, February 2, 1905 p.5

Tobacco Plants by the Million

The Ross Leaf Tobacco Co has leased the Seth Tinsley place on Spruce Street, and is having it rapidly covered with tobacco beds. There will 80 beds, 50 feet in length in all. It is calculated these beds will produce two million plants of the black and burley tobacco.

The Kingsville Reporter, April 29, 1926 p.1

Very little, if any, unemployment in town now. The two tobacco factories running full time have absorbed about all workless that were on our streets. The Hodge factory has over 200 at work and the Ross factory the same number. The work will continue until early spring.

The Kingsville Reporter, December 25, 1930 p.5

History of Tobacco Growing In Essex County

The few tobacco growers in the district who are putting in their flue cured plants this week are mainly long-time growers, some even descendants of those who pioneered the growth of the crop here, and are recalling the story of how Essex growers founded this industry in Canada, only to see it all but disappear from the county.

There seems to be no record of just when Essex County settlers first began to grow tobacco, but by 1871 their annual production was reported at 250 thousand pounds. The earliest growers air-cured the leaves and used them in their raw state.

Later they followed the established practices of the southern states in producing more than their own requirements, and for some years exported their surplus to other districts. By the close of the century, Canadians were importing properly dried leaf to satisfy their own increased population demand.

At about this time, experienced southern growers, travelling through Essex County, became interested in the potential of what they formerly considered frigid northlands, and influenced local businessmen to tap this promising new source of wealth.

The first tobacco firm to locate in Kingsville, Wilson and Bailey, bought tobacco from growers, sorted it into grades suitable for manufacturing, dried it so that it might be preserved and aged and packed it into hogsheads.

The Kingsville Reporter, June 9, 1960 p.4

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