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The Camellia City Has Blossoming History

Brooks county roadtrip
Posted at 5:00 PM, Jul 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-18 19:15:26-04

Quitman, Ga. (WTXL)--The WTXL Road Trip fun continues in Brooks County, Georgia. We're exploring Quitman and the history behind its nickname, "The Camellia City". 

Nestled off of Highway 84, Quitman is known for it's beautiful landscapes, agriculture, and potent history.

Quitman was established in 1859 right before the Civil War but the city itself was named after Mexican-American war hero John. A. Quitman. 

"After the war, as things begin to turn into normalcy, Quitman thrived. It was quite a busy place. I was reading in an old newspaper and it said that somebody had been a visitor here in the early stage and wrote in a letter that Quitman was the Atlanta of South Georgia..which is hard to comprehend today", Logan laughs. 

In the late 1800's and early 1900's Quitman was a bustling place, known mostly for its agriculture. 

"One of the things that Brooks County was known for in the 1800's all the way up until the early 1900's was the quality of it's pork products.. Brooks county hams were advertised all over the southeast", says Logan. 

While the town is popular for its pork, a local celebrity is held dear to the hearts of Quitmanites. 

Betty Sheffield came up with a Camellia that became known throughout the country. 

Ms. Sheffield is enshrined right outside the Brooks County Museum and Cultural Center. 

"The garden is our biggest project," exclaims Charlotte Jones. 

Betty Sheffield was passionate about her desire to beautify Quitman. She worked as an unpaid supervisor to the city workers to landscape the city. 

But it all paid off as the city was nicknamed in honor of her creation. So if you ask any homegrown Quitmanites their favorite things about the city and they'll all agree on Camellias.