Many people don’t know this fact.
Red Lion Pennsylvania was once famous for the many brands of cigars made in the town. In fact, it was the cigar making capital of the world, producing millions of cigars per month. To this day, in the annual New Year celebration, the town raises a giant cigar instead of dropping a ball. Red Lion, PA was once responsible for manufacturing roughly 10 percent of the cigars in the United States. This is no longer the case of course as the cigar manufacturing facilities all moved away with the last one closing in 2011.
What we find fascinating is that a tiny town of 6,000 people was able to produce 10% of all the cigars consumed in the United States. That is one big mountain of cigars that came from Red Lion, PA. In 1879 cigar tobacco production in Pennsylvania reached 36,900,000 pounds, making PA the largest grower of cigar tobacco that year.
The cigar industry was so strong in Red Lion by the 1920s that the town was the richest place, per-capita, in the nation. However after that point the town experienced a slow decline in market share and prominence in the cigar world until eventually all the cigar companies left the town.