September 2015 Sonja Ingram, Field Representative, Preservation Virginia


In 2014, Preservation Virginia entered into a partnership with JTI Leaf Services in Danville, Virginia to start a grants component of Preservation Virginia’s Tobacco Barns Program. The JTI Mini-Grants Project was designed to allow property owners the opportunity to apply for small grants for structural stabilization and exterior repairs to historic tobacco barns in a manner authentic with the original architectural style and accepted historic preservation practices. All of the barns approved for grants in 2014 were built locally by tobacco farmers, their family members and friends. The most remarkable characteristic of the barns is that they are individual and distinct creations made by Virginians, completely out of local materials. There are few heritage resources that are as unique and original to Southside Virginia than tobacco barns.

Three-hundred applications were received for the 2014 grant cycle. The applications included 88 from Caswell County, 112 from Halifax County and 100 from Pittsylvania County. Fifteen barns, five per county, were chosen for repairs. Eleven of these were completed in 2014; however, four carried over into 2015: three in Caswell County and one in Halifax County. This addendum describes the repairs completed on these four barns. With the completion of these four barns, the 2014 grant cycle ended. Attached to this addendum is the updated budget.


1. Judith Kracke’s Barn, Semora, NC: Judith Pointer Kracke’s barn sits on the Foster/Pointer home place in Caswell County and is a beautiful example of a late 19th-early 20th century pack house. The Pointer family has been tobacco-farming in Caswell County since the mid- 1700s. The Kracke’s barn has two separate rooms- a frame-built room for storage and a log-built room which contains the ordering pit. The repairs exceeded the cap per barn and the barn owners paid the additional amount to have the barn repaired. Repairs to the Kracke’s barn included the following: 

Repairing foundation

Replace , repair and paint roof

Replacing chinking and daubing where needed

On the frame section, sections of the weather boarding to be replaced on front side

On the log section, shelf on back side repaired

Up to six logs to be replaced or repaired

All of the weatherboarding to be replaced on the back side facing the road

Window underneath metal sheet repaired

Judith Kracke’s pack house before and after. Several logs were replaced and the heavily deteriorated siding was replaced on the western elevation.


Deteriorated siding was replaced on the eastern elevation and new doors were added. The field stone foundation was also repaired where stones had fallen out.

Sections of two logs on the northern elevation had to be replaced and fastened together because of issues with the interior floor. The barn owner’s plan to repair the floor at a later date.

2. Rebecca Page’s Barn, Yanceyville, NC: Rebecca Page’s barn is a curing barn located just north of Yanceyville. The barn was built by the current owner’s grandfather, Ludolphous Brown Page, in 1910 on the family’s large tobacco farm. The farm was previously owned by Philip Hodnett, an abolitionist who served in the North Carolina Legislature during Reconstruction. The Page’s barn is unusually tall and retains many of its early wooden shingles. The Page family has worked to preserve the barn for many generations and have plans to use it as a place in which to sell homegrown berries. The barn was partially repaired in 2014; however, the final repairs extended into 2015.


Repairs to the Page’s barn included the following: 

Replacing and repairing roof

Painting roof

Repair of small window opening

Daubing where needed

Ms. and Mr. Page and Sallie Smith of the Caswell County Historical Association with the barn in the background.

Sections of roof tin and the ledge frame had been damaged by a tree fall. The image on the right shows the repaired roof. 5

Cedar shingles were repaired and some replaced with new cedar shingles on the eyebrow

Roofs repaired and painted


3. David Vernon’s Barn, Reidsville, NC: David Vernon’s barn is a curing barn constructed in the 1920s. It was used for many years by the Vernon family on a farm that has been in the family for over 100 years. The farm previously grew tobacco but it is now an apple tree nursery and orchard. The Vernon’s farm brings hundreds of people to Caswell County each year. The barn is very visible as it sits at the entrance to the orchard and is intended to be used by the Vernon’s to accentuate their tobacco heritage. Repairs to the Vernon’s barn included the following: 

Replacing three foundation logs

Construction of a new door to match existing

Securing tin on roof

Repairing and painting roof

Replacing fly /barge rafters

Removing non-historic shelter on left side

Grading around barn to better facilitate drainage

Reworking rock foundation

The Vernon’s curing barn before and after repairs.


Replacing deteriorated bottom logs

Roof repair and painted.

New door.

4. Joe Graves’ Barn, Alton, VA: Joe Graves’ barn in Halifax County was built 58 years ago on his farm, Brandon-on-the-Dan. It is viewed by thousands of people each year driving to the nearby Virginia International Raceway in Alton. Visible from the barn is the Graves’ main dwelling house which contains architectural elements built by Thomas Day, the famous African American furniture maker.


Repairs to the Graves’ barn included the following: 

Repair and paint tin roof

Re-chinking and daubing

Repair of boards on gable ends

Repair of bulging log

Before and after images show the repaired and painted roof. The barn was also completely re-daubed.

Braces were added to the side to help secure a log that was bulging outward.