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Tobacco: The Green Gold of the Bothwell Sand Plains
Bothwell-Zone Oil Museum
Bothwell , Ontario

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and a booming industry took
hold. In the late 1960s
there were approximately 50
farms growing flue-cured
tobacco within an eleven
kilometre (seven mile) radius
of Bothwell.
   In the early years,
tobacco farming was much
like the oil industry not

for the faint of heart.
Tobacco farmers and their
families faced many hours of
back breaking work only to
take a gamble that there
would be a profit at the end
of each season. Faced with
uncertain markets, labour
shortages, early frost,
drought and hail, they

persevered in putting
Bothwell on the map as one
part of the tobacco growing
belt of Ontario.
   
   In 2008, the tobacco
industry in southwestern
Ontario, including Bothwell,
was almost a thing of the
past due to changes in social

attitudes towards the use of
tobacco, political pressures
and high tariffs. The "green
gold" industry has dwindled
to a mere few growers. The
once lucrative farms that
were the pride of the
community now stand with
decaying barns and kilns - to
serve as a memory of better

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