Skip to main content

Hastings Seed Company records

Collection number: ahc.MSS992

Scope and Contents of the Records

The collection primarily contains seed and nursery catalogs of H. G. Hastings and Company. The collection also includes business records and publications produced by H. G. Hastings and Company. Limited correspondence and newspaper articles provide some insight on the company’s operations. Unpublished manuscripts provide details about the company’s history and the mail order seed business in general.


  • 1894-1993, undated


Restrictions on Access:

This collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use:

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

In 1889 in Interlachen, Florida, Harry George Hastings (1869-1962) established H. G. Hastings and Company, a mail-order business specializing in garden and field seeds as well as nursery stock. The business aided both farmers and home gardeners. By the mid-1890s, the company began producing a monthly newspaper instructing farmers on the best methods of plant cultivation, which would eventually evolve into The Southern Ruralist. In 1899, the company moved to Atlanta, a more centralized distribution point for its mail-order operation. In 1919, the company purchased 1500 acres of land near Lovejoy, Georgia in Clayton County to be used as its seed and nursery stock plantation. In 1942, Donald M. Hastings (1901-1991) succeeded his father as president of the operation.

Although H. G. Hastings and Company originally focused on its mail-order business, the company shifted its attention to the wholesale and retail nursery business, opening one of the first garden centers in the South in 1955. Expanding beyond the customary sale of seeds and plants, this new establishment also offered all manner of garden supplies, including tools and pots. The company continued under the leadership of Donald Hastings’ son, Donald M. Hastings Jr. (1929-2013), until the family business was sold to an outside party in 1976.


6.46 linear ft. (13 document cases and one oversize box)



Arrangement of the Papers

This collection is divided into two series. Series 1: seed and nursery catalogs arranged chronologically. Series 2: administrative records and other publications. Folders in Series 2 are arranged alphabetically by titles supplied by staff. Material within folders is arranged chronologically.

Acquisition Information:

Gift of Donald M. Hastings, Jr. and Chris Hastings, 2002 (CGL 2002.04), with subsequent additions.

Related Materials

Hastings Family Papers, MSS 752, Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center; H. G. Hastings Company Photographs, VIS 170, Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center.

Processing Information:

Collection processed in 2009.

Hastings Seed Company records
Staci L. Catron
September 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305