Willington in McCormick County, South Carolina
Willington owes its existence to the educational and religious needs of the region’s settlers. Dr. Moses Waddel’s Willington Academy established in 1804 attained national prominence. Willington developed into a school town. Willington at its present location grew up as the result of the Savannah Valley Railroad during the mid-1880s.
Willington holds the distinction for first growing the Red Spider Lily in the United States. Native son Dr. James Morrow who was a part of Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s expedition to open up trade with Japan in 1853-54 brought the bulbs from Japan. James Morrow was a medical doctor with a strong interest in agriculture. From early experience on Pleasant Grove, his stepfather’s plantation near Willington, he became interested in botany and in the introduction of new crops. Commissioned by Secretary of State Edward Everett, Dr. Morrow boarded the Vandalia to take seeds and agricultural implements on Commodore Perry’s expedition to Japan and the Ryukyu Islands in the Orient.
Dr. Morrow returned to the United States to his plantation in the spring of 1855, caring for his precious plants with the help of a Chinese gardener hired in Macao. During the next few years he practiced medicine and lived at Pleasant Grove. Upon the death of his mother in 1855, Dr. Morrow inherited the plantation.
P.O. Box 938, McCormick, SC 29835
100 South Main St., McCormick, SC 29835
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