New Exhibit Features Pomaria Farmers

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- A new exhibit opened at the University of South Carolina's McKissick Museum on Thursday.

The exhibit, "Taking Root: The Summer Brothers and the History of Pomaria Nursery,"focuses on the Summer brothers.

The family that started the Pomaria Nursery, one of the first major nurseries to develop in the area.

"We have a fantastic and innovative exhibit, kind of exhibit that has never been done before," said Dr. Kajal Ghoshroy.

Dr. Ghoshroy is the natural history curator at McKissick Museum and a biology associate professor at U.S.C. Sumter, she says this new exhibit is an important history lesson in agribusiness for South Carolina.

Dr. Ghoshroy said, "Prior to nurseries such as Pomaria, all the plants were shipped from New England or northern states to be planted here and they didn't survive very well as you can expect, because they couldn't tolerate the heat, the soil conditions, and the high humidity here."

Facing this problem the Summer brothers cultivated plants at the Pomaria site, they also bred livestock, a business that thrived from the 1840s to the 1870s.

"Our exhibit mostly focuses on their plants, the innovative plants of South Carolina, many of which are still existing around the city and the state," said Dr. Ghoshroy.

Just outside the doors of McKissick Museum, you can still see trees that were sold by Pomaria Nursery in the 19th century, the trees can also be seen on the State House grounds and the Governor's Mansion Complex.

Now that the Summer brother's work is on display both inside and outside, Dr. Ghoshroy hopes we can continue to learn and take away lessons from the self-educated horticulturists

"They wrote and read and experimented voraciously all the time so they were very scientific, they were not your general plantation farmer, they were scientific farmers, so they bring a very rich scientific background with them that brings this exhibit a very new dimension," said Dr. Ghoshroy.

The exhibit is open until September 20th at McKissick Museum on the University of South Carolina campus

A reception and discussion will be held June 18th from 5:30 PM until 7:30 PM.


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