Harrell Nut Company: History of the Pecan Industry, Part 1: The Early Years

April 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

A leading name in the pecan industry, Harrell Nut Company serves commercial, retail, and non-profit clients across three brands. The Ole’ Henry’s Nuthouse brand offers retails sales, while Camilla Pecan provides products for fundraising efforts of all sizes. Meanwhile, the Harrell Nut Company parent brand serves commercial vendors nationwide.

Recognized as the only tree nut native to North America, the pecan has been traced to its roots in the Mississippi River Valley, with some Asian species having crossed the Bering Strait before the influx of humans. Peoples native to North America enjoyed the pecan as a convenient and nutritious food source.

Europeans discovered the appeal of the pecan soon after their arrival. Colonists began cultivating pecans in Mexico in the early 1700s, and settlers in the future United States followed suit around 1770. Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are both known to have cultivated their own pecan orchards. By the late 1700s and early 1800s, the export of pecans and the commercialization of the crop had begun.

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