History of the Hopkins Farm
Why do we describe the farm as Historic? Because we have such an intriguing history! The Historic Hopkins Farm began to get its name with the Battle of the Great Cane Brake, a Revolutionary War battle fought days before Christmas in 1775. This battle near the Reedy River, a border of the Hopkins Farm, was fought between hundreds of loyalists and revolutionaries. From the Revolutionary War until the beginning of the Civil War, the farm served as the mustering grounds for the local militia.
When the Upcountry of South Carolina was first being settled by colonists, 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. On one of the large rocks found on the property, and mounted in the event venue's Pavilion today, is an etching created by the Cherokee that served as a trail marker symbolizing that the trail was shared by both themselves and the White Man.
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. Through it all they led the farm through events like the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Great Depression, growing crops such as cotton and corn and raising livestock and poultry.
The "Main House" was built in 1840 and still stands today, albeit with a few updates and additions! In 2016, a renovation to the "doctor's quarters" (named for the area of the house where Dr. Verona Hopkins received patients in the late 19th century) created a brand new Bridal Ready Room.
In 1875, the Hopkins Family and other locals wanted to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Great Cane Break. However, this was in the middle of 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 farm today, down by the Reedy River, where the battle in support of independence was fought.
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 Grooms and their Groomsmen get ready for the weddings we host today.
Over the years, the Hopkins Farm has enjoyed many "firsts" for the surrounding area. This includes having the first residential telephone connected in the area, a thanks for donating the land for the area fire tower back at the dawn of the 20th century. In addition, the farm was the first home to connect electricity in the area.
Today, the Farm has a new purpose. We decided to make our home-place 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. We still maintain a close connection to our roots, as Agnew Hopkins, a member of the 6th Hopkins generation to call the land home, operates a heritage poultry farm on the "lower farm." He has been a part of Greenville's farm-to-table movement since the beginning!