Located in Hartsville, the gardens, now owned by Coker College, were developed into an arboretum prior to World War II by Mrs. David R. Coker. The old home was built by Capt. Thomas E. Hart (1796-1842) shortly after he purchased the surrounding lands in 1817. The city of Hartsville derives its name from him–he was its first postmaster; a merchant, planter, officer in the South Carolina Militia, member of the Board of Free School Commissioners, and Magistrate for the area.


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