My Office: by Al Pearson
please enjoy this guest post from Mr. Al Pearson.....My office (peach and pecan orchards) is always pleasant, especially in the fall. But usually, pecan leaves just turn brown and fall off. Peach leaves vary in their final days, but seldom make a color statement. But not in 2016! The dry weather has given us colors that rival Gingko trees and it has been exciting to watch. If the leaves did this every year, I'm sure the roads would be crowded with “Leaf Lookers” enjoying the sights. Being “FAMILY” Friday, we decided to include a Pearson Family History from an article in the Georgia Post several years back….. THE PEARSON FARM: growing peaches for 125 years The Pearson farm has been in operation at Zenith and Lee Pope for 125 years. Its genesis dates back to 1885 when Moses Winlock Pearson purchased his first farmland and began growing peaches. In 1880, Moses (1858-1906) married Emma Carroll (1858-1934), their union producing 12 children: 6 boys and 6 girls. The 1900 census showed that the Pearson and Lee families were neighbors and their children would have played together. Moses died prematurely in 1906 at age 48, leaving Emma with a farm to manage and a large family to raise. John Winlock Pearson, the oldest child, age 24 at the time, assumed the burden of replacing the void created by his father's untimely death, and keeping the farm profitable during difficult times. In 1915, John and his brother Oscar bought Lee Pope Fruit Company and began packing peaches under the “Big Six” brand label—named after Moses and Emma's six boys: John, Oscar, Walter, William, James, and Clyde.
John Winlock Pearson (1881-1958) married Rosa Lee Hartley (1187-1976). Their marriage produced three boys (Lawton, Russell, and Willard) and two girls (Virgie and Tina). Lawton's peach packing shed was located near the railroad at Lee Pope; Willard and Russell's in Fort Valley on the present site of the Harvey's Grocery Store. When Lawton's packing shed burned in 1961, he packed peaches in Fort Valley at Russell and Willard's shed and continued for the next 13 years.In 1937, Lawton Pearson (1912-1979) married Laurie Lanier (1915-1981). The “Big 6” farmland was owned by their three children, Peggy Pearson Jerles, Ann Pearson McGehee, and Al Pearson from 1973 to 2008. In January 2008, Al and Lawton Pearson took over the farm operations as “Pearson Farm.” A mail order business was created to ship peaches, pecans, and seasonal gifts to individual and corporate customers. The Pearson farm comprises 1300 acres of peaches and 2300 acres of pecans. Bill McGehee (Ann's husband and their son, Will, manage marketing operations for both peaches and pecans. The old Zenith School (established circa 1900 and closed in late 1940s) became the packing shed for “Big 6” in 1975 and is still in use.