Hastings Seed Company Records
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Hastings Seed Company Records

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA 30305. 404.814.4040. reference@atlantahistorycenter.com
Creator: H. G. Hastings and Company
Title: Hastings Seed Company Records
Dates: 1894-1993, undated
Quantity: 5.46 linear ft.
Quantity: (13 document cases)
Identification: ahc.MSS992

Biographical/Historical Note

In 1889 in Interlachen, Florida, Harry George Hastings (1869-1962) established H. G. Hastings and Company, a mail-order business specializing in garden and field seeds as well as nursery stock. The business aided both farmers and home gardeners. By the mid-1890s, the company began producing a monthly newspaper instructing farmers on the best methods of plant cultivation, which would eventually evolve into The Southern Ruralist. In 1899, the company moved to Atlanta, a more centralized distribution point for its mail-order operation. In 1919, the company purchased 1500 acres of land near Lovejoy, Georgia in Clayton County to be used as its seed and nursery stock plantation. In 1942, Donald M. Hastings (1901-1991) succeeded his father as president of the operation.

Although H. G. Hastings and Company originally focused on its mail-order business, the company shifted its attention to the wholesale and retail nursery business, opening one of the first garden centers in the South in 1955. Expanding beyond the customary sale of seeds and plants, this new establishment also offered all manner of garden supplies, including tools and pots. The company continued under the leadership of Donald Hastings’ son, Donald M. Hastings Jr. (1929-2013), until the family business was sold to an outside party in 1976.


Scope and Content Note

The collection primarily contains seed and nursery catalogs of H. G. Hastings and Company. The collection also includes business records and publications produced by H. G. Hastings and Company. Limited correspondence and newspaper articles provide some insight on the company’s operations. Unpublished manuscripts provide details about the company’s history and the mail order seed business in general.


Arrangement

This collection is divided into two series. Series 1: seed and nursery catalogs arranged chronologically. Series 2: administrative records and other publications. Folders in Series 2 are arranged alphabetically by titles supplied by staff. Material within folders is arranged chronologically.


Index Terms

Agriculture--History
Flowering shrubs--Georgia
Flowering shrubs--Southern States
Flowering trees--Georgia
Flowering trees--Southern States
Flowering woody plants--Georgia
Flowering woody plants--Southern States
Flowers--Georgia
Flowers--Southern States
Gardening--Equipment and supplies--Catalogs
Gardening--Georgia
Gardening--Southern States
H.G. Hastings Company.
Horticulture--Catalogs
Horticulturists--Georgia
Nurseries (Horticulture)--Catalogs
Nurseries (Horticulture)--Georgia
Ornamental shrubs--Georgia
Ornamental shrubs--Southern States
Plants, Ornamental--Georgia
Plants, Ornamental--Southern States
Seeds--Catalogs
Shade trees--Georgia
Shade trees--Southern States

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation:

Hastings Seed Company Records, MSS 992, Cherokee Garden Library, Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center

Acquisition Information:

Gift of Donald M. Hastings, Jr. and Chris Hastings, 2002 (CGL 2002.04), with subsequent additions.

Processing Information:

Collection processed in 2009.


Restrictions

Restrictions on Access:

This collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use:

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.


Related Material

Hastings Family Papers, MSS 752, Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center; H. G. Hastings Company Photographs, VIS 170, Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center.


Container List

 

Series 1: Seed Catalogs, 1889-1993, undated

4.62 linear ft.
(11 document cases).
This series consists of late-19th century and 20th century seed and nursery catalogs published by H. G. Hastings and Company. Catalogs from 1889-1894 represent the company when located in Interlachen, Florida. The earliest catalog for the company in Atlanta is 1901. Catalogs for H. G. Hastings and Company, while owned and operated by the Hastings’ family, date from 1890 to 1976 and are comprehensive. Series 1 also contains seven seed packets from the company from 1950-1954. Catalogs from 1977-1993 represented the company after being sold to an outside party and do not contain any catalogs for the year 1988.

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11The Guide: An Illustrative Seed and Floral Annual for Southern States, 1889-1890
2Our Seeds Specially Selected and Grown for the Southern States [2 copies], 1890-1891
3Price List and Catalogue [2 copies], 1893
4Annual Price List and Catalogue [2 copies], Fall 1893-Spring 1894
5Catalogue No. 21 [2 copies] and Summer and Fall Price List and Catalogue No. 22 [2 copies], 1901
6Catalogue of Garden, Field, Grass, and Flower Seeds Adapted to Atlanta and Near-by Counties [3 copies], 1902
7Successful Seeds for Southern Sowers, Catalogue No. 25 and Catalogue No. 26, Summer and Fall, 1903
8Catalogue No. 28 [2 copies], Summer and Fall 1904
9Catalogue No. 30 [2 copies], Summer and Fall 1905
10Catalogue No. 32, Summer and Fall 1906
11Catalogue No. 34, Summer and Fall 1907
12Catalogue No. 35, Spring 1908
13Catalogue No. 37, Spring and Catalogue No. 38, Summer and Fall [2 copies], 1909
14Catalogue No. 38, Spring and Catalogue No. 40, Summer and Fall, 1910
15Catalogue No. 41, Spring and Catalogue No. 42, Summer and Fall, 1911
16Catalogue No. 43, Spring and Catalogue No. 44, Fall, 1912
17Catalogue No. 45, Spring and Catalogue No. 46, Fall, 1913
18Catalogue No. 47, Spring and Catalogue No. 48, Fall, 1914
19Catalogue No. 49, Spring and Catalogue No. 50, Fall, 1915
20Catalogue No. 51, Spring and Catalogue No. 52, Fall, 1916
21Seasonable Garden Selections for Atlanta, Spring and Important Summer Crops, 1916, undated

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21Catalogue No. 53, Spring and Catalogue No. 54, Fall [2 copies], 1917
2Catalogue No. 55, Spring and Catalogue No. 56, Fall, 1918
3Catalogue No. 57, Spring and Catalogue No. 58, Fall, 1919
4Dutch and French Bulbs and Their Culture; Bulbs and Roses; and Some Straight Tips from the Melon Patch, undated
5Catalogue No. 59 [2 copies]; Catalog No. 60, Fall; and Catalog, Spring, 1920
6Catalogue No. 61, Spring [2 copies]; Catalog No. 62, Fall; and Catalog, Spring, 1921
7Catalogue No. 63, Spring and Catalog No. 64, Fall, 1922
8Catalogue No. 65, Spring and Catalog No. 66, Fall, 1923
9Catalogue No. 67, Spring and 68th Catalog, Fall, 1924
1069th Catalog, Spring [2 copies]; 70th Catalog, Fall; and Catalog, Spring, 1925
1171st Catalog [2 copies], Spring 1926
1273rd Catalog, Spring; 74th Catalog, Fall; and Catalog, Spring, 1927

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3175th Catalog, Spring; 76th Catalog, Fall [2 copies]; and Letter to Mr. Hastings from Anne Terrell McKinley, 1928
2Nursery Annual, Winter, 1928-1929
377th Catalog, Spring; 78th Catalog, Fall; and Nursery Annual, Winter [2 copies], 1929-1930
479th Catalog, Spring; 80th Catalog, Fall [2 copies]; and Catalog, Spring [2 copies], 1930
5Nursery Annual, Winter [2 copies], 1930-1931
681st Catalog, Spring; 82nd Catalog, Fall; and Nursery Annual, Winter [2 copies], 1931-1932
783rd Catalog, Spring [2 copies]; 84th Catalog, Fall [2 copies]; and Nursery Annual, Winter, 1932-1933
885th Catalog, Spring [2 copies], 1933
987th Catalog, Spring [2 editions] and 88th Catalog, Fall [2 copies], 1934
10Nursery Annual, Fall-Winter and 157 Varieties-Roses for the Living from Peyton A. Ellison, 1934-1935

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4189th Catalog [2 copies]; 90th Catalog, Fall; and Catalog, Fall-Winter [2 copies], 1935-1936
291st Catalog, Spring [2 copies]; 91st Catalog, Spring [2nd edition] [2 copies]; and 92nd Catalog, Fall [2 copies], 1936
393rd Catalog, Spring [2 copies] and 93rd Catalog, Spring [2nd edition] [2 copies], 1937
4Seasonable Spring Specials, March [2 copies]; 94th Catalog, Fall [2 copies]; and Nursery Annual, Winter [2 copies], 1937-1938
595th Catalog, Spring [2 copies] and 95th Catalog, Spring [2nd edition] [2 copies], 1938
6Catalog, Fall [2 copies]; Spring Specials [2 copies]; and Nursery Annual, Winter [2 copies], 1938-1939
7Catalog, Golden Anniversary; 100th Catalog, Fall; and Nursery Annual, Winter [2 copies], 1939-1940

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51Catalog, Spring [2 copies] and Nursery Annual, Winter, 1940-1941
2Catalog, Spring [2 copies] and Nursery Annual, Winter, 1941-1942
3Catalog, Spring [2 copies] and Catalog, Spring [2nd edition] [2 copies], 1942
4Catalog, Fall [2 copies] and Nursery Annual, Winter [2 copies], 1942-1943
5Catalog, Spring [2 copies]; Catalog, Fall; and Nursery Annual, Winter [2 copies], 1943-1944
6Catalog, Spring [2 copies]; Catalog, Fall; and Nursery Annual, Winter [2 copies], 1944-1945
7Catalog, Spring; Catalog, Fall [2 copies]; and Nursery Annual, Winter, 1945-1946
8Catalog, Spring; Catalog, Fall [2 copies]; and Nursery Annual, Winter [2 copies], 1946-1947

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61Catalog, Spring; Catalog, Fall 1947 [2 copies]; Nursery Annual, Winter [2 copies]; and Bargain Tulips, 1947-1948
2Catalog, Spring [2 copies]; Catalog, Fall 1948 [2 copies]; and Nursery Annual, Winter [2 copies], 1948-1949
3Catalog, Spring [2 copies]; Catalog, Fall [2 copies]; and Nursery Annual, Winter [2 copies], 1949-1950
4Seed Packet for Coreopsis ‘Double Sunburst,’ packed for 1951, Seed Packet for Cosmidium ‘Orange Crown’, undated and Northrup, King and Co. Seed Packet for Morning Glory ‘Crimson Rambler,’ packed for 1953
5Seed Packet for Parsley ‘Triple Moss Curled,’ packed for 1951 and Seed Packet for Tomato ‘Pan American,’ packed for 1954
6Seed Packet for Verbena ‘Giant Beauty of Oxford Hybrids,’ packed for 1950-51; Seed Packet for Zinnia ‘Blaze,’ packed for 1954; and Seed Packet for Marigold ‘Tall French,” undated
7Catalog, Spring [2 copies] and Catalog, Fall [2 copies], 1950
8Nursery Annual and Azaleas and Camellias Booklet, 1950-1951
9Catalog, Spring [2 copies]; Catalog, Fall [3 copies]; and Catalog, Fall [2nd edition], 1951
10Catalog, Spring [2 copies]; Catalog, Fall [2 copies]; and Catalog [2 copies], 1952-1953
11Catalog, Spring [2 copies]; Catalog, Fall [2 copies]; and Catalog [2 copies], 1953-1954

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71Catalog, Spring [2 copies]; Catalog, Fall; and Catalog [2 copies], 1954-1955
2Catalog, Spring [2 copies]; Catalog, Late Summer-Fall; and Catalog, Fall-Winter [2 copies], 1955
3Catalog, Spring [3 copies] and Catalog, Late Summer-Fall [2 copies], 1956
4Catalog, Spring [2 copies] and Catalog, Late Summer, Fall-Winter [2 copies], 1957
5Catalog, Spring [2 copies] and Catalog, Late Summer, Fall-Winter [2 copies], 1958
6Catalog, Blue Streak Special Edition, Spring [2 copies] and Catalog, Late Summer, Fall-Winter [2 copies], 1959
7Catalog, Spring [2 copies] and Catalog, Late Summer, Fall-Winter [2 copies], 1960
8Catalog, Spring [2 copies] and Catalog, Late Summer, Fall-Winter, 1961-1962

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81Catalog, Spring [2 copies] and Catalog, Fall, 1962
2Garden Guide, Spring and Garden Guide, Fall [2 copies], 1963
3Garden Guide, Spring [2 copies]; Garden Guide, Fall [2 copies]; and Nursery Section, 1964-1965
4Garden Guide, Spring [2 copies]; Garden Guide, Fall; and Nursery and Landscape Section, 1965-1966
5Garden Guide, Spring [2 copies] and Garden Guide, Fall [2 copies], 1966
6Garden Guide, Spring and Garden Guide, Fall [2 copies], 1967
7Garden Guide [2 copies]; Garden Guide, Fall [2 copies]; and Catalog of Home, Garden and Pet Products [2 copies], 1968
8Garden Guide and Catalog of Home, Garden and Pet Supplies [2 copies], 1969

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91Garden Guide [2 copies] and Catalog of Garden and Pet Supplies, 1970
2Garden Guide [2 copies] and Catalog of Garden and Pet Supplies, 1971
3Garden Guide [2 copies] and Holland Bulb Catalog, 1972
4Southern Plant Section and Catalog of Garden and Pet Supplies, 1972
5Garden Guide [2 copies] and Catalog of Garden and Pet Supplies, 1973
6Garden Guide [2 copies]; Catalog of Garden and Pet Supplies [2 copies]; and Wholesale Price List Supplement, 1974
7Garden Guide [2 copies]; Garden Guide [2nd edition]; and Catalog of Garden and Pet Supplies, 1975

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101Garden Guide [2 copies], 1976
2Garden Guide [2 copies] and Southern Garden Guide [2 copies], 1977
3Garden Guide [2 copies] and Growing and Preserving for the South [Catalogue], 1978
4Garden Guide [2 copies] and Southern Garden Guide, 1979
5Southern Garden Guide [2 copies]; Southern Garden Guide, Fall [2 copies]; Credit Card Charge Slip, 3 May, 1980
6Southern Garden Guide [2 copies]; Southern Garden Guide, Fall [2 copies]; and Wholesale List and Order Forms, 1981

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111Southern Garden Guide, Spring [2 copies] and Southern Garden Guide, Fall, 1982
2Southern Garden Guide, Spring and Southern Garden Guide, Fall, 1983
3Southern Garden Guide, Spring [2 copies]; Southern Garden Guide, Spring [2nd edition]; and Catalog Insert, Spring, 1984
4Southern Garden Guide, Fall, 1984
5Southern Garden Guide, Spring and Southern Garden Guide, Fall, 1985
6Southern Garden Guide, Spring, 1986
7Garden Guide, Fall [2 copies], 1987
8Southern Garden Guide, Centennial Issue, Spring [2 copies] and The Catalog for Southern Gardeners, Fall [2 copies], 1989
9The Southern Gardener’s Catalog, Spring [2 copies] and The Southern Gardener’s Catalog, Fall [2 copies], 1990
10The Southern Gardener’s Catalog, Spring and The Southern Nature and Garden Catalog, Fall [2 copies], 1991
11The Southern Nature and Garden Catalog, Spring [2 copies] and The Southern Nature and Garden Catalog, Fall, 1992
12The Southern Nature and Garden Catalog, Spring [2 copies], 1993
 

Series 2: Administrative Records and Other Publications, 1911-1987, undated

0.84 linear ft.
(2 document cases).
This series contains administrative records of H. G. Hastings and Company, including cash register orders, price lists, cotton gin receipts, U. S. Department of Agriculture documents, plant inventories, and correspondence. The series includes miscellaneous items, such as Hammon’s Directory of Seedsmen, Growers and Florists of the United States (1894) and the program for the Southern Nurserymen’s Association convention (1948). The series also contains other publications by the company on various topics, including grasses, clovers, corn, cotton, grain crops, azaleas, camellias, orchids, roses, lawns, meadows, pastures, hay, forage crops, melons, vegetables, fruit trees, and herbs. Please note that after H. G. Hastings and Company was sold to an outside party in 1976, Don Hastings, Sr. and Don Hastings, Jr. owned and operated the Southern Garden Company in the late 1970s and 1980s. Catalogs from this company are also contained in Series 2. Series 2 also includes two unpublished manuscripts by H. G. Hastings.

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121Business Records: “Catalog names written,”, 1911-1922
2Business Records: Parcel Post Statistics [2 copies], May 1931
3Business Records: Cash Register Orders, 20-22 May ?
4Business Records: Law and Company, Inc., Chemists, Chemical Report, 7 January 1933
5Business Records: Inventory, Spring 1938
6Business Records: Price Lists, 1942-1943, 1951
7Business Records: Handwritten Note on Prices [photocopies], undated
8Business Records: Stock Record, undated
9Business Records: Number of Requests for Catalogs, 1951
10Business Records: Slips for Haralson Gin Co., 1961
11Business Records: U. S. Dept. of Agriculture, Notice of Acreage, Schedule of Pledged Cotton, and Cotton Producer’s Note, 1964
12Business Records: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Notice of Allotments and Yields, 8 March 1977
13Business Records: Robin Hood Hedge Rose flyer, undated
14Business Records: Saving Stamps booklet, undated
15Correspondence, 1927-1929
16Correspondence, 1947-1949
17Correspondence, 1954
18Correspondence, 1980 and undated
19Miscellaneous: Hammon’s Directory of Seedsmen, Growers and Florists of the United States, Compiled by Will S. Hammon, H.M. Amlin, Printing and Binding, Kansas City, Mo., 1894
20Miscellaneous: The Brownie, Joe Brown Junior High School, Atlanta, Georgia [original and photocopy], April 1945
21Miscellaneous: Resolution, Public Works Committee, Atlanta, Georgia, re: condemnation of property owned by the H.G. Hastings Co., 21 November 1947
22Miscellaneous: Southern Nurserymen’s Association, Forty-Ninth Annual Convention, Huntsville, Alabama, 19-21 August 1948
23Miscellaneous: How the Donkey Became an Ass by R.B. Buchanan, undated
24Miscellaneous: Paper Bag, H. G. Hastings Co., undated
25Newspaper Articles: “An Old Time Barbecue and an Ideal Picnic Outing on the H. G. Hastings Farm at Trimble, Georgia,” by W. B. Seabrook, The Constitution, Atlanta, Georgia, 16 November 1913
26Newspaper Articles: “Hastings Buys Site on Forsyth,” The Journal, Atlanta, Georgia, 26 November 1947
27Newspaper Articles: “Garden Council Unveils Portrait of Nelson Crist,” The Weekly Star, 9 March 1967
28Publications: A Book about Grasses and Clovers [2 copies]; The Corn Question and the Answer [2 copies]; and The Corn Question and the Answer [2nd edition; 2 copies], undated
29Publications: Face To Face with You; Cotton Growing; Winter Grain Crops; and Grain Crops in the South, undated
30Publications: Lawns for the South [2 copies], Meadows and Pastures for the South [2 copies], and On a Georgia Plantation, undated
31Publications: “Planting and Care of the Home Orchard;” Some Straight Tips from the Melon Patch; and Southern Hay and Forage Crops [pages missing], undated

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131Publications: Azaleas and Camellias, To Handle Roses Properly, and Rose Culture Guide, undated
2Publications: Home Orchard Guide, The Right Way to keep a Successful Lawn For the South, Catalog of Pet Supplies, Bird Supplies, Gardening Aids, No. 057, undated, and “Everything for the Dog”, Fall, undated and Fall 1948
3Publications: Roses for the South by W. R. Hastings, Hastings’ Radio Garden Club Over WSB, 17 February 1930
4Publications: How to Grow Roses by Donald M. Hastings, Hastings’ Radio Garden Club Over WSB, 3 November 1930
5Publications: All-American Selections, Descriptive List of Awards, compiled by W. Ray Hastings, Atlanta, Georgia, 1933-1936
6Publications: Gardening by Hastings, 1945-1952
7Publications: Nursery and Landscape Section, The South's Finest Plants, 1968
8Publications: List of Certified Nurseries and Dealers, Georgia Department of Agriculture, 1968-1969
9Publications: Hastings Gardening Hints, Series A-M, 1982
10Publications: Southern Garden Company Catalog, 1978-1980
11Publications: Southern Garden Company Catalog, 1981-1983
12Publications: Southern Garden Company Catalog, 1984-1985
13Publications: Southern Garden Company Catalog, 1987
14Unpublished Manuscripts: H. G. Hastings, The Essentials in Building a Mail Order Seed Business, undated
15Unpublished Manuscripts: H. G. Hastings, Beginnings of Southern Ruralist, undated