The Chas. C. Hart Seed Company was founded in 1892 by Mr. Charles C. Hart who had been associated with the Johnson & Robbins Company for fourteen years. He started a small consignment package seed business using the back kitchen of his home as a packing room, warehouse, and office. At that time there were five seed firms in business in Wethersfield, with this venture being the sixth.
In 1894, Mr. Hart entered into a partnership with Mr. Frank J. Welles, establishing Hart, Welles & Company. They purchased the general wholesale seed business of Egbert Decker on Marsh Street in Wethersfield and moved their operations there for a time. As business increased, more room was needed so the company acquired the offices and warehouses of the former Johnson & Robbins Company on Main Street.
A mail order department was established in 1913. In 1916 Mr. Hart purchased Mr. Welles’ interest in the business, and Mr. Hart’s three older sons became associated with the firm.
Over the years, Hart Seed grew, acquiring several seed companies in the process. In 1922, the fifty-year-old business of E.M. Lyman & Son of Springfield, Massachusetts was purchased and moved to Wethersfield. During that same year, the youngest of Mr. Hart’s four sons joined the company. In 1924 the package seed business of Robert M. Reeves & Company of New York City was bought.
Other seed businesses acquired included the Budd D. Hawkins Seed Company of Reading, Vermont in 1952, the S.D. Woodruff & Son Company of Orange, Connecticut in 1958, and the packet seed business of T.W. Wood & Sons of Richmond, Virginia in 1962.
The wood frame buildings of the Hart Seed Company were destroyed by a fire in 1943 and were replaced with a brick office and warehouse complex at the same location on Main Street in historic Old Wethersfield, Connecticut.
Today, the company is owned and operated by members of the fifth and sixth generations of the Hart family. The Harts oversee the production and distribution of packet seeds, bulk vegetable and flower seed, lawn seed, fertilizers and other landscape products to independent dealers, farmers, golf courses, and landscape professionals throughout the United States.