Days Gone By - stories from the past

Did you know that nutgrass or nutsedge was not always part of the Alabama landscape?

Nut Grass is a grassy weed that seeks out the moist, poorly drained sections of your yard and is a tough weed to control because it grows from tiny tubers that form on roots the can grow 8-14 inches in the soil. No one knows how it came to Alabama, but this author offers suggestions for its appearance in Greensboro, Hale County, Alabama.


Nut Sedge infested an Alabama lawn (Auburn.edu)

The history of the Nut Grass in Greensboro, Alabama1

Probably there are those of the present generation who think that the cocoa, or nut grass, has always been in Greensboro and vicinity, but such is not the fact. The author has it on the authority of Hon. Charles E. Waller, who knows the history of the grass in this section, that the first appearance of cocoa was in the yard of Dr. Richard Carter Randolph, two miles east of Greensboro.

Ordered from New Orleans

Mrs. Randolph had one of the largest and most beautiful flower yards ever in this vicinity, and she would frequently order plants and shrubbery from New Orleans, and more than half a century ago there came in these plants or shrubbery either the seed or the nuts of the cocoa.

When the grass first made its appearance in the Randolph yard no one knew what it was, and no attempt was made to eradicate it, and from this beginning, it has spread, in various ways, over the entire section.

Dr. Randolph built a palatial home

It is worthy of note that Dr. Randolph was a close relative to the famous “John Randolph of Roanoke,” and was, before he moved to Greensboro, a surgeon in the United States navy. He was quite wealthy, and owned thousands of acres of land east of the corporate limits of the town. In the midst of these broad acres he erected a palatial home, which he called “Oakleigh” and furnished it most elegantly. He and his wife entertained lavishly, and many brilliant parties were given beneath their hospitable roof. The front yard was a scene of beauty, filled with flowers and shrubbery of every description, and adorned here and there with statues of the finest Italian marble.

The Doctor and his wife are buried in the family graveyard hard by the place where once stood their elegant home. In the after years the house was burned,—the brick was moved away, and the property passed into other hands, and now a modest cottage adorns the site where once stood the mansion of the old days. Dr. Randolph was the father of Major R. C. Randolph, who married Sallie Julia Pickett, daughter of Albert J. Pickett, the historian. His other children were Mrs. R. I. Hill, Mrs. J. W. Tayloe and Mrs. Rittenhouse Moore.

FreeHearts: 2nd edition A Novel of Colonial America Col. John Washington (ancestor of President George Washington), Randall Revell, Tom Cottingham, Edmund Beauchamp ward off Indian attacks and conquer the wilds of Maryland’s Eastern shore in 17th century colonial America in this historical novel, inspired by true events.

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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3 comments

  1. Charles Moore

    One of many invasive plants in Alabama such as privet, kudzu, and mimosa (silk tree) that we almost think are native but are definitely not. Being invasive species and not part of our natural environment makes them difficult to control and get rid of.

  2. Audie Edwards Jr.

    I remember when people would say that the only thing that would survive a nuclear war was a cockroach I would say no because it would be setting on a blade of nutgrass watching the sun come up on the new world

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