Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Research: Pinehurst Tea Gardens

Pinehurst Tea Gardens was not on my "tea radar" until I toured the Charleston Tea Plantation back in May and learned that Pinehurst and another South Carolina business, Golden Grove Tea Company, were forebears of Charleston Tea Plantation. I made a vague mental note to be on the lookout for anything to do with Pinehurst Tea Gardens and Golden Grove, and apparently I set up an alert on eBay for the names, because recently I was notified this postcard was available. Let's consider it "Exhibit A" in our ongoing study of tea's horticultural history here in the U.S.

I don't know why, but I was surprised to see that even in 1906, when this card was mailed, Oolong, Green and American Breakfast blend were all being advertised. Does this surprise you as it did me?

There's another curious note about this postcard as well. It's addressed to Mrs. Herbert Brawley, 27 Avondale Park, Rochester, N.Y., but there's no message, no signature. Wonder why? Who is that man under the entrance to the tea factory? Could it be Dr. Charles Shepard, the founder? (His picture appears on the May 20 post if anyone would like to compare.) And why did the sender of this postcard visit a tea plantation in South Carolina in February instead of spring? This postcard almost raises more questions than it answers, but at least I have some new information about precisely which teas were coming out of that tea factory in Summerville.


  1. I wonder if the postcard was an advertisement (junk mail) and not from a friend on vacation? Either way it's neat to look at. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Since the postcard says buy them at "J.A. Seel Co in Rochester, NY" perhaps the card originated in NY and the recipient was planning a vacation .

  3. Opps! It was mailed from Summerville. Maybe the sender just thought the recipient would get a kick out of the Rochester connection.

  4. I love hearing your thoughts on this! Both scenarios seem real possibilities to me!

  5. What I found interesting was the ad "Made with scrupulous care and cleanliness."
    I thought it funny that they had to advertise the "cleanliness" part.

  6. Something else I just noticed on the address side- it states that that side is exclusively for the address. It gives no space for a message.


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