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The History of Wetsel Seed

Thursday, August 19, 2021, 7pm in the Rocktown History Lecture Hall

The story of Wetsel Seeds stems from pioneering studies by Daniel Wetsel (1861-1933). Born in Pennsylvania, Wetsel moved to east Rockingham’s  Goods Mill community in 1882. 

Wetsel established a blacksmith shop in Port Republic, married, expanded his family, and purchased farm land. After years of experimentation with vegetables, Wetsel had developed a few varieties of his own and began selling his seeds in a wagon on Court Square on Saturdays and Court Days. In the photo above, D. M Wetsel and son A. W. Wetsel stand with the first seed wagon, ca. 1907.

Wetsel’s business became a major supplier of seeds and horticulture and lawn and garden supplies in the middle Atlantic. Today, that foundation extends to the West Coast.

Tom Wetsel had an early start in the family business. Although his official term of service started in 1967 at age 18, he had been working part-time during high school and summers.

From seed cleaning to road salesman to company management and national lawn and garden organization leadership, Wetsel’s career allowed him to learn from and contribute to the industry while serving his community.