Hopkinsville Chief Financial Officer Robert Martin and local historian William Turner shared the podium this afternoon as they spoke to Kiwanians about the Dark Patch Tobacco War that took place from 1904 to 1909 in Hopkinsville and throughout southwestern Kentucky.
Martin, whose home will be a part of a tour of local turn of the century homes during this year’s Tobacco War pilgrimage, says the Night Riders, a vigilante group started out with good intentions, but quickly turned violent as tobacco prices dropped because of the unreasonable price ceilings set by a tobacco broker.
On the night of December 7th, 1907, the Night Riders rode into the City of Hopkinsville and set fire to several barns, in addition to a tobacco warehouse owned by John Latham that was filled with dark tobacco owned by farmers who would not join the night riding cause. Several nearby homes also caught fire during the raid.
Organizers for the annual Night Rider Pilgrimage, which is scheduled to take place from Friday, September 21st through Sunday, September 23rd are encouraging residents to commemorate the uprising by attending one of the events planned during the three-day event.
For more information about this year’s Night Rider Pilgrimage, contact 270-887-4270.