Loop 1: Station 2
The Forrester Farm: Recovering from Cotton
The Forrester Farm, one-hundred acres on the east side of Lake Conestee, was purchased by Lindsay Forrester, Jr. and his wife Rebekah in 1950. This property had previously been part of the 700 acres of cotton land owned by Reedy River Factory (later Conestee Mill).
The cotton farming that dominated much of the Piedmont in the late 1800s exhausted the land, resulting in reduced fertility, soil erosion and low crop yields. Low cotton prices, the Great Depression, and the availability of industrial jobs killed cotton farming in this area by the 1930s. Conestee Mill no longer needed hundreds of acres of land.
The Forresters had most of their property in pasture for livestock. They raised five children on this farm. In 1983 Rebekah sold 45 acres of the farm to the City of Greenville for construction of a new municipal baseball stadium, home of the Greenville Braves until 2004.
The Conestee Foundation purchased the rest of the farm in 2007 with help from the SC Conservation Bank and the Community Foundation of Greenville .
When did cotton production in this region peak?
After the Civil War cotton production in the Upstate grew steadily into the 1890s and peaked here by 1920. However, by then prices were so low that farmers could not raise it profitably. Many farmers lost their land for back taxes.
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