By the early 20th century, Danville was a center of the thriving Virginia tobacco industry. Farmers from Virginia and North Carolina brought their fresh tobacco crop to the city's processing warehouses, called prizeries, to be packaged and/or sold. Tobacco leaves not sold on the spot were pressed into large barrels, or hogsheads, to be shipped to other locations.
Constructed in the heart of Danville's tobacco warehouse district in 1875, Smith Seeds was one of these prizeries. With four and a half stories of open floors for storage and packaging, it was likely to be a hub of constant activity. The first floor would have served as an auction house for tobacco buyers while the side and rear loading docks accepted harvest deliveries.
In 1943, the building was sold to Smith Seeds, Inc., a local, family-owned company established in 1908. Until about the early 21st century, the building was used as a seed warehouse and agricultural supply store supporting Danville's outlying rural community. The building remained vacant until its reinvention as the Smith Seeds Lofts.