Why do we describe the farm as Historic? Because we have such an intriguing history! The farm earned recognition during the Battle of the Great Cane Brake, a Revolutionary War battle that occurred days before Christmas in 1775. Hundreds of loyalists and revolutionaries fought near the bordering Reedy River on what would become the farm. From the Revolutionary War until the beginning of the Civil War, the area served as the mustering grounds for the local militia.
As the first colonists began settling the Upcountry of South Carolina, a man by the name of William Toney established "Toney's Store" on what is today the Hopkins Farm. This served as a trading post between the new immigrants and the Native Americans. Mounted in our Pavillion today is a rock etching the Cherokee created as a marker symbolizing they shared the trail with settlers.
In 1834, John Hopkins purchased 2,000 acres from William Toney and founded the Hopkins Farm. He died in 1839, leaving behind his property to his widow, Lucinda. This began a period of nearly 100 years where the farm was largely owned and operated by women in the Hopkins family, something highly unusual for the time. Three consecutive generations of Hopkins women suffered the untimely loss of their husbands. Despite many hardships, they led the farm through events like the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Great Depression, growing crops such as cotton and corn while raising livestock and poultry.
Constructed in 1840, "The Main House" still stands today, albeit with a few updates and additions!
In 1875, the Hopkins Family and other locals wanted to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Great Cane Brake. However, this date fell during the Reconstruction, a time when there simply wasn't money to go around for war memorials. So they made do with what they had and planted Patriot's Grove, a double row of trees on the banks of the Reedy River, in honor of those who fought in the battle and for the Revolution. The Grove still stands on the property today, on the banks of the Reedy River, honoring those who fought for independence.
In 1925, James Hopkins, a forward-thinking man, built Greenville County's first bonded cotton warehouse. It held up to 500 bales of cotton for storage, allowing him to sell it when others could not and enabling him to earn a higher profit. This warehouse still stands today and can serve as a backdrop for your event. It also contains a comfortably updated side apartment where visitors can change clothes for a photoshoot or get ready for a wedding.
Over the years, the Hopkins Farm has enjoyed many "firsts." After donating land for the local fire tower, the farm received the first residential telephone connected in the area as thanks. In addition, we were the first home connected to electricity in the area.
Today, we have a new purpose. Our home place is now available for your special event. From weddings to corporate functions, we offer the beauty of a farm maintained for generations to become one of Greenville County's finest venues.