Visit the Tobacco Kiln
While on your visit to the Delhi Tobacco Museum & Heritage Centre, please make sure to ask Museum Staff to tour the Heritage Designated Tobacco Kiln on site and see for yourself the interior of a once functional tobacco kiln with stick-hung tobacco still in place.
History of Tobacco Kiln
“The iconic tobacco kiln, adjacent to the Delhi Tobacco Museum and Heritage Centre was donated by Oscar and Godelieve Lava from their farm on Potters Road in the township of South Norwich, Oxford County. The Lavas bought this tobacco farm in 1960 from the Skiba family who had been growing tobacco for a number of years and had built seven kilns. When the Lavas’ added two more kilns, all nine were converted to the gas-fired units made at the Bright Leaf factory in Delhi. All nine kilns were covered with the traditional green tar paper and red wood trim.
When the Lava’s purchased new bulk kilns in 1977, the nine, old kilns were no longer needed. In 1982, they donated one of the newer and last-built kilns to be moved to its present location to serve as a Tourist Information Centre.
The Rotary Club of Delhi donated a sum of money to the Delhi Chamber of Commerce to cover the cost of moving and installing the kiln. Some alterations were made to an area of the kiln’s interior creating the tourist information area with the remaining area being left intact. This was operated by community volunteers until it closed and the information material moved to the front entrance of the Museum.”
Criteria for Designation Report, Prepared for Norfolk Heritage Committee By Mary Caughill