“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Greenville in Greenville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

Historic Plants Garden

The Children's Garden


—History Garden —

Historic Plants Garden Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 30, 2010
1. Historic Plants Garden Marker
Agricultural plants that were grown and sold by farmers are important to Greenville's history. For many years, most families in Greenville made their living by farming.

Corn, Wheat and Oats
In the early 1800s, corn, wheat, and oats were the most commonly grown crops in Greenville. These were turned into flour in a mill, then used to make foods and animal feed.

After the Civil War, soil was poor, many men were lost, and families had little money or livestock. The 1866 harvest was poor, so many planters lost all they owned and left Greenville during that time. The railroads had come to Greenville, providing faster transportation than animals, so there was less need to grow grains for feed. As Greenville grew and developed a textile industry, cotton became the most profitable crop to grow.

In Greenville's early years, cotton, the major crop in other parts of South Carolina, was not of great importance in Greenville. But by the late 1800s, cotton production was on the rise. Greenville was the state's third largest cotton-producing country by 1915. Countrywide production peaked in 1920, when manufacturing and the railroad brought new growth to the region. As cloth-making became industrialized in Greenville, cotton's importance grew.

Historic Plants Garden Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 30, 2010
2. Historic Plants Garden Marker
high price in 1915 encouraged more farmers to grow. It seemed a promising crop, but many problems lay ahead. It was difficult to grow and harvest. Whole families worked together to plant, tent, and pick up a crop. The school year was scheduled around cotton's growing season as kids could help their families harvest. Prices dropped as cotton production increased, so farmers lost money. Boll weevils arrived in 1917 and threatened cotton to extinction, ans still the price dropped. The return of European production after World War II decreased demand, and the Great Depression of 1929 added to the troubles of the cotton farmer. Their costs rose while their cotton was being sold for less money.

Relief was in sight, however. Through the Clemson Extension Service, Greenville County hired an agent who taught farmers modern farming techniques. Farmers learned new ways to grow corn and produce livestock, and a new peach industry flourished. Agriculture eventually declined in importance in Greenville as the modern city emerged.

The type of tea we most commonly drink in the South (iced tea) is made from the flavorful leaves of a variety of camellia (Camellia sinensis). Tea is the most consumed beverage in the world after water, and yet most of the tea we drink is not grown in the United States. The only tea farm in America is in South
Historic Garden Markers -<br><i>Cherokee Indian</i><br>Donated by Phil and Sharon Carlton image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, April 30, 2010
3. Historic Garden Markers -
Cherokee Indian
Donated by Phil and Sharon Carlton
Carolina! On the island of Wadmalaw, 20 miles south of Charleston, tea has been grown since 1799, when a French botanist brought the first tea plants to America. You can find this "American Classic Tea" in grocery stores and try it for yourself! It is both the official White House tea and the Hospitality Beverage of South Carolina.

Tea has a history even closer to home. Junius Smith moved to the Greenville District and decided to experiment with the growth of tea. He began to plant tea in 1848 on land about a mile from town owned by Dr. Charles B. Stone and then purchased 269 acres of his own on Golden Grove Creek and started his own tea farm.

As you see here, teal still grows in Greenville. In autumn, it has small, fragrant yellow-white flowers. When you drink tea, remember that it is the glossy green leaves of this plant that create one of the world's most popular drinks.
Erected by City of Greenville Parks and Recreation.
Location. 34° 50.95′ N, 82° 24.25′ W. Marker is in Greenville, South Carolina, in Greenville County. Marker can be reached from Reedy View Drive. Click for map. Marker is located on the grounds of the Children's Garden at Linky Stone Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 24 Reedy View Drive, Greenville SC 29601, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Historic River Cane (here, next to this marker); History of the Reedy River (here, next to this marker); Linky Stone Park (here, next to this marker); The Geologic History of Greenville (within shouting distance of this marker); Huguenot Mill Office (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Carolina Supply Company (approx. 0.2 miles away); Downtown Baptist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Prospect Hill Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); Greenville County Courthouse / The Willie Earle Lynching Trial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Buck Mickel (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Greenville.
Also see . . .  American Classic Tea. "American Classic Tea", the only tea grown in America, is produced 20 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina, deep in the South Carolina Lowcountry, on the subtropical sea island of Wadmalaw. (Submitted on May 28, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
Categories. AgricultureNatural Resources
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 574 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement