Tobacco, railroads to be remembered

Jul. 31, 2013 @ 06:35 PM

The Granville County Museum will have a special program Saturday afternoon at 1 featuring tobacco historian and Granville County native W.W. “Billy” Yeargin.

The program, “Tobacco & Railroads-An Independence,” will focus on the influences that 19th century tobacco production in North Carolina had on the development of the railroads systems along the North Carolina-Virginia border.

Yeargin, who is a teacher, lecturer and author, will discuss the traditional influences and interdependency between the rail system and tobacco.

Yeargin teaches history at Johnston Community College and American tobacco culture at Vance-Granville Community College.

He is a former headmaster at Oak Ridge Military Academy and teaches Southern Culture for Osher Lifelong Learning program at Duke University.

After graduating from Oak Ridge Military Academy, Yeargin attended the University of North Carolina and earned a degree in history and religion. He also holds a master’s degree in Liberal Studies, with a focus on American southern culture, from Duke University. He studied European History and Politics at the University of Oxford.

Yeargin has an extensive background in the North Carolina tobacco industry. He was former executive director of the Tobacco Growers Information Committee, spokesman for the U.S. Tobacco Growers, and agriculture liaison to former Gov. Jim Hunt Jr.

He has published two books on the historical context of North Carolina tobacco culture: “North Carolina Tobacco, a History” and “Remembering North Carolina Tobacco.”

The program will take place in the Harris Exhibit Hall at the Granville County Museum, located at 1 Museum Lane Oxford. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

More information is available by calling (919) 693-9706 or visiting

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