ancient China, where the peach originated 4,000 years ago, an old
proverb avowed, "Eat a peach and live forever. "Supposedly,
it possessed mystic powers for eternal life and was worshipped as
the "Tree of Life."
Eventually, peaches spread to Europe and then to America when the
settlers of Virginia planted trees there before 1629. Through
the years, scientific development has produced hundreds of luscious
varieties. South Carolina is now the second leading producer
of fresh peaches in the country, boasting of 300 varieties with
ripening dates as early as May and as late as September.
Ben R. Smith's great grandfather, Z.D. Smith, wrote in his diary
of tending his small orchard near here in the 1860's. B.R. Smith,
Sr. began growing peaches in 1928 with five or six varieties.
Until about 1960, our peaches were commercially packed under the
brand name "Pinnacle," so named because our orchard is
located on some of the highest terrain in our area. Everything
was shipped up North.
When Ben R. Smith, Jr. entered the family operation in 1958 he heard
of complaints from local people who could "never buy any good
peaches" in a county with ten packing houses. Everything except
"culls" were being shipped out. Ben put a small
roadside stand in the front yard, and in the early '60's the first
section of "The Peach Tree" was erected. Gradually,
all shipping ceased and today, we are a local market, proudly serving
you with the finest peaches grown. Our orchard of 45 acres
yields 20 varieties, ripening from June until mid-September.