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Tobacco growing in Waanyarra

Posted by on April 22, 2012


Tobacco was first grown at Waanyarra in the summer of 1864-65. Mr. Thomas Leech planted ½ acre crop at Grassy Flat, the fertile creek flats North of Morton’s Welcome Inn. The venture was successful, so the following season he planted a larger area.
After dismissing the belief that the locally grown product was inferior, he sold the crop for 3/- a pound.
Mr Leech then constructed a press which was used to press the produce into a more saleable item at 4/- a pound.
In the years 1866-67 Mr. Leech planted an acre of tobacco which yielded around ½ a ton. The crop, when cured and pressed, was sold for 4/6d. a pound.
Mr. Leech’s venture gained much notoriety in the Waanyarra neighbourhood, and in the following season the crop was again a success, with more acres being planted.
In the 1868 Waanyarra Postal Directory a Mrs. Mueller of Mosquito was listed as a Tobacco grower, so there was no doubt that Mr. Leech’s tobacco venture caused interest.

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