Note: The following is one of a series of columns looking at the origins and growth of the agriculture industry in Southeast Georgia and Bulloch County.
The March 1, 1920 edition of the Bulloch Times and Statesboro News reported the planning for a pickling plant in Statesboro. It “is to be a branch of the Georgia Preserving Company, of Atlanta.”
It declared, “Men (will) promote the growing of cucumbers, beans, etc., as may be best suited (because) the opportunity is a big one for the people of this county. It calls for little cash at the outset, and the risk is small.”
The April 1, 1920 Bulloch Times and Statesboro News reported that a “meeting of farmers (was) held in the court-house.” The cucumbers would be destined “for the local salting station.”
In addition, “more than 100 acres have already been contracted for in Bulloch County. The station will be...on the Central railroad track...and will be big enough to take care of all the cucumbers the farmers (can) grow.”
It stated, “Seeds are now ready for distribution, and may be had upon application to Blitch-Parrish Company's store (and that) R. F. Donaldson, at the Sea Island Bank is also prepared to make contracts.”
On May 6, 1920, the Bulloch Times and Statesboro News announced that “the site of “the local pickle salting station (is)...near the warehouse of the Goff Grocery Company.”
It added, “Mr. Griffith, the manager in charge...added they could handle “more than two hundred acres of cucumbers to be grown for the plant.” Griffith declared “terms require the daily gathering of the cucumbers.”
“Then, on Thursday, June 3, 1920, the Bulloch Times and Statesboro News announced “Cucumber Station Now Ready to Do Business. Farmers Find Market for Their Product and Receive Ready Cash.’
And, the “local salting station of the Georgia Preserving Company opened for business Monday morning under the management of Mr. M. V. Fletcher...(and) has been kept quite busy since opening.”
“Several thousands of pounds of cucumbers (were) received. There are twelve tanks being erected with a capacity of 70,000 pounds each.” It added, “the plant (can handle) the entire output of this section.”
Continuing, “the prices...range from $3 per 100 pounds for the smallest size to 50 cents per hundred...for culls...the average price received so far has been about $2.50 per 100 pounds, which is the price is No. 2’s.”
Then, the paper explained, “the first delivery was made to the local plant Monday morning by Mr. Jesse T. Waters, who lives on Route 3. He was immediately followed by Mr. Lovin Smith, on the same route.”
What’s more, it added, “Many of the farmers have already realized several hundred dollars each from their cucumbers, and the total cash paid is well up into the thousands of dollars.”
In the Bulloch Times-Statesboro News-Statesboro Eagle issue of Jan. 21, 1943 announced the “Perfect Packed Products Company Inc.” have completed their plans for a salting and pickling station in Statesboro.
The livestock auction barn on Dover Road now owned by Messrs. Lannie Simmons and Hoke Brunson has been (acquired) by the new Statesboro Pickle Company for a number of years.
Fred E. Gerrald, a prominent Bulloch county farmer in Brooklet was engaged by the pickle company to contact farmers and secure contracts to supply cucumbers to the plant.
Gerrald has already secured a number of contracts and is calling on farmers in all sections of the county. Contract prices for the cucumbers are No. 1, $3.50 per 100 pounds, #2, $1.60, and #3, 6o cents.
Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look each week at the area's past. E-mail Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org.