Simpler Times

I have in hand an insight into Oconee County, SC, 1953. It is a Farm Plat booklet, mapping the county’s 3,288 farms (averaging 75.5 acres each) and laying out homesites of the county’s 39,050 residents. Published by Mr. Arthur Brown’s Tractor & Equipment Company, long-gone businesses placed simple advertisements with three and four digit phone numbers. The booklet makes some curious claims: the elevation of Oconee County in 1953 is noted to be between 950 and 1100 feet above sea level, and it claims Oconee County as being the first soil in which the tomato plant was cultivated in North America. Hmmm. Cotton was still a major crop in Oconee County when this booklet was printed, and, oddly, pimento peppers. Clemson College was not yet up to university status, and was still part of Oconee County. Jocassee Valley, as yet not flooded under the waters of its rivers, was called "The Switzerland of South Carolina," and was, even then, noted for its beautiful Oconee Bell flower.~K






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