Farming in the Black Patch

tobaccowarpilgrimage.com

As the 20th Century dawned, big business came to the dark tobacco growing region of Kentucky and Tennessee, eliminating competition, manipulating prices and undermining local control. A struggled called The Black Patch War began and lasted nearly until the outbreak of World War I. Commemorations start Friday when the Museums of Historic Hopkinsville-Christian County offer the 3rd Annual Tobacco War Pilgrimage including a raid re-enactment, a tobacco bus tour, a re-enactment of a Trial of the Nightriders and more. Kate Lochte asked Murray State Professor of History Dr. Bill Mulligan to give an overview of the conflict that embroiled this region, starting in 1904. 

Ulysses Hayes

Kate Lochte speaks with western Kentucky native and author Bobbie Smith Bryant on Sounds Good. Bryant was born in the Black Patch of Calloway County and shares her family's heritage in a new book titled, "Passions of the Black Patch: Cooking and Quilting in Western Kentucky." Black Patch is the region in western Kentucky and northwestern Tennessee where a specific type of tobacco, which has distinctly dark leaves, is grown.

Learn more at bobbiesmithbryant.com.

Last November, a new documentary about raising dark-fired tobacco titled “Farming in the Black Patch" debuted in Murray. The film starts its first run on KET at 8 p.m. Central tonight, with shows scheduled through March on both KET and KET KY. The name Black Patch comes from the dark leaves of the kind of tobacco that's smoke-cured in barns and used for pipe blends, chewing, and snuff. Kate Lochte has more with the filmmaker and writer.