The Chas. C. Hart Seed Company was
founded in 1892 by Mr. Charles C. Hart who had been connected with
the Johnson & Robbins Company for fourteen years. He started a small
consignment package seed business, using the back kitchen of his
home as a packing room, warehouse, and office. At that time there
were five seed firms in business in Wethersfield, this venture being
In 1894, Mr. Hart
entered into a partnership with Mr. Frank J. Wells, establishing
Hart, Wells & Company. They purchased the general wholesale seed
business of Egbert Decker on Marsh Street in Wethersfield and moved
their operations there for a time. As business increased, more room
was needed so the company acquired the offices and warehouses of the
former Johnson & Robbins Company on Main Street.
A mail order department was
established in 1913. In 1916 Mr. Hart purchased Mr. Wells interest
in the business, and Mr. Hart's three older sons became associated
with the firm.
Over the years, Hart's Seeds grew,
acquiring several seed companies in the process. In 1922, the
fifty-year-old business of E. M. Lyman & Son of Springfield
Massachusetts was purchased and moved to Wethersfield. During that
same year, the youngest of Mr. Hart's four sons joined the company.
In 1924 the package seed business of Robert M. Reeves & Company of
New York City was bought.
Other seed businesses acquired
included the Budd D. Hawkins Seed Company of Reading Vermont in
1952, the S. D. Woodruff & Son Company of Orange, Connecticut in 1958,
and the packet seed business of T. W. Wood & Sons of Richmond
Virginia in 1962.
The wood frame buildings of the
Hart Seed Company were destroyed by a fire in 1943, and were
replaced with a brick office-warehouse complex at the same location
on Main Street in historic Old Wethersfield, Connecticut.
Today, the company is owned and
operated by members of the third, fourth, and fifth generations of
the Hart family. The Hart's oversee the production and distribution
of packet seeds, bulk vegetable and flower seed, lawn seed,
fertilizers and other landscape products to independent dealers,
farmers, golf courses, and landscape professionals throughout the
Northeastern United States.
Connecticut is a charming, historic Connecticut River town founded
in 1634. Along Main Street are homes
more than 200 years old, as well as the white-steepled
Congregational Church that George Washington occasionally attended.
This area is richly endowed with deep, fertile soil, a legacy from
the glaciers and the annual flooding of the Connecticut River.
As a result of this agricultural treasure, Wethersfield became in
its early history a seed producing area.
"Here is the
finest ride in America. A gentleman told me that there is not such
another street in America as this one in Wethersfield . . . We went
up the steeple of Wethersfield Meeting House from whence is the most
grand and beautiful prospect in the world."
Adam's Diary, August 15, 1774