Following Will Sexton’s tip I looked at the Carolina Fruit Hills pamphlet published by the Seaboard Air Line Railway in the 1920s. Sadly, I saw no mention of bananas, but it’s still a fun read, and a nice piece of marketing work. The Seaboard Railway published many pamphlets like these encouraging development in Piedmont North and South Carolina, areas conveniently served by their railroad. Most of these pieces presented in glowing terms the temperate climate of the region, not to mention the low cost of labor and the lax labor laws. In this one, however, the focus is on fruit.
Throughout the pamphlet, the region is consistently referred to as the Carolina Fruit Hills, an attractive name, but one that didn’t succeed in supplanting the term Sandhills. The virtues of Carolina grapes, strawberries, melons, and peaches are extolled, and the Fruit Hills are touted as hosting the largest dewberry shipping center in America. I’d seen dewberries mentioned on this postcard, but had to turn to the dictionary to find that a dewberry is a sweet fruit resembling a blackberry. Despite my proximity to the Carolina Fruit Hills, I’ve never seen dewberries at the grocery store. It’s too bad: a bowl of fresh dewberries and vanilla ice cream would be just the thing on a hot day like to today.