Jiuqiong Village Tobacco Barn 九芎村菸樓

An Old Tobacco Barn in Jiuqiong Village
An unexpected find in a small village in Yunlin: a red brick tobacco barn!

What little remains of the historic tobacco industry in central Taiwan is disappearing fast. Tobacco cultivation was big business for much of the 20th century but went into sharp decline in the 1980s and essentially ended with globalization and Taiwan’s accession to the WTO. Robust preservation efforts in southern and eastern Taiwan ensure something of this industry will remain for future generations but the situation in the former tobacco cultivation areas of Taichung 台中, Changhua 彰化, and Yúnlín 雲林 is far more ambiguous, and documentation of what cultural assets remain is sparse or nonexistent. For this reason I’ve made an effort to record tobacco barns anytime I encounter them in my travels—as I did while driving through Jiǔqiōng Village 九芎村 on the south side of Línnèi 林內 in Yúnlín 雲林 earlier this summer.

A Closer Look at the Tobacco Barn in Jiuqiong Village
A closer look at the derelict tobacco barn. You can easily see the exposed structure of the curing chamber embedded within the red brick housing.

I was not surprised to find this tobacco barn while gallivanting around Línnèi 林內, formerly one of the main tobacco cultivation areas in Yúnlín 雲林, though it is located in a village on the opposite side of the township from active conservation efforts. I’ve found no mention of it online which isn’t unusual—tobacco barns were once a dime a dozen in this part of the country and few were explicitly named. Even so, there is some utility in sharing small finds like this one.

An Oblique View of the Jiuqiong Tobacco Barn
Another look at an old tobacco barn in a small village in Linnei. There was nothing much to see in the doorway; it’s being used for storage nowadays.

For more about the tobacco curing process and the architectural features of this class of building I suggest reading my piece about the Shuinan Tobacco Barn in Taichung 台中.

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