Combining research services with community education to bring the stories of Beaufort's Influential Black Past to Life.
ca. 1900s, Beaufort's Truck Farming Period
Little is known about the period that led up to and followed Beaufort's "Lettuce Capital" period. If you are not familiar with that period of Beaufort's history. After the 1930s, Beaufort's farmers found themselves as one of leading vegetable growers in America. Beaufort's great climate and past as an agrarian powerhouse made it easy for residents to produce the large quatntities of produce needed to feed a hungry nation after the first world war. Some residents chuckle slightly at the idea as a lettuce capital, a title now held by Yuma County, Arizona but what these people don't know is how serious a contributor Beaufort became as a supplier due to the old Port Royal Railroad. Littered with these massive farms where staples were harvested by the children of former slaves who had not been tempted to move north and whose families had resisted the mass exodus of southerners from the south to the west following the Civil War, South Carolina and even more specifically, Whale Branch would see the rise of one of these farms, Marvin's Farms.
No exact date has been found for the opening of Marvin's Farms but it is likely the farm was started around the 1920s when Colleton born founder, John Marvin started the company in what is now modern-day Lobeco. Marvin was appointed postmaster of Lobeco on September 9, 1925 - it is likely he started his farm sometime around this time in 1925 after after receiving this appointment and moving to Beaufort with his sister permanently.
Florance "Lottie Mae" Manigo Washington
"Lottie Mae" as she was called was the daughter of Elizabeth Singleton Cook Manigo (1855 - 1932) and Shedrick [Cook] Manigo (1834-1925) of Stuart Point South Carolina. She married Sinclair Heyward Washington, the son of Rose Heyward and Benjamin Washington. The respected midwife for all of Stuart Point and Seabrook, she had gone away to high school in Charleston as a child and had returned to marry her Sinclair. During her time at Marvin's Farm, Lottie worked three days in house and two days in the field. She clean and did the washing for Marvin and his sister who lived with him at the time.
Lawrence "Baby" Washington
(1924 - 2014)
A key figure in the founding of Beaufort Jasper Comprehensive Health, business pioneer in Beaufort County and grandson of Civil War Veterans, Ben Washington (1852 - ca. 1910) and Reverend Shedrick Cook Manigo (1834-1925) of Stuart Point, SC and great grandson of Binkey and Cuffy Heyward of Roupelmond Plantation, worked here for a time. For more on Lawrence "Baby" Washington click here.
James B. Marvin, Sr.
James B. Marvin was appointed Lobeco postmaster on September 9, 1925.
James B. Marvin, Lobeco, SC. Record of Appointment of Postmasters, 1832-1971. Abbeville - Greenwood, SC. National Archives Records Administration. Click image to view record on Ancestry.com.
Florance "Lottie Mae" Manigo (1894-1972). Daughter of Civil War veteran Shedrick Manigo and Seabrook/Stuart Point midwife.
Only known photo. Photo courtesy of Fallon N. Green.