Growing tobacco has had a relatively long history in Australia, with the first successful farms recorded in New South Wales in 1820. This continued, with many ups and downs, until 2006, when Australian tobacco was deemed too expensive in a market dominated by Brazil, China, India and east African countries.
Myrtleford (and surrounding areas) had many tobacco farms, and attracted Italian migrants to the region in the 1950s. They came as labourers, then became share-farmers and eventually, owners of the farms.
This memorial in a park on the main street in Myrtleford honours these hard working migrants who played a vital role in the development of the region.
When tobacco leaves were picked, they had to be dried in specially designed kilns. A log kiln, typical of those built from the 1930s to the early 1960s and used on the farm of the Pizzini brothers, has been relocated to the Rotary Park.
Kilns made of corrugated iron replaced the log structures, and you can still see many of these as you drive through the attractive Alpine countryside.
As I worked on this post, a surprise popped up in my WordPress reader. Unbeknownst to me, I just had an anniversary. Where is the prosecco, WordPress?