Joshua Percy Flowers moved to the area now known as Flowers Plantation in 1905 at the age of two. He began purchasing land in the early years of the Great Depression to farm cotton and tobacco, and it produced crops until the 1970s. Mr. Flowers was active in business, civic life and local and state politics. An avid hunter and outdoorsman, Mr. Flowers raised champion walker hounds, and at his death in 1982, owned more than 300 of them. Mr. Flowers and his wife, Delma Whitley Flowers, had two children. Their son, Percy Jr., was killed in a private plane accident in 1952 while he was a student at the University of North Carolina. Their daughter, Rebecca Flowers, began developing Flowers Plantation in 1978 and continues her family’s rich tradition today.
To read the fascinating story of Howard Creech, the man behind the legendary Percy Flowers, click here.
Before it came to be known as Flowers Plantation in the early 20th Century, the land in Johnston County along the Neuse River was called Pineville Plantation, owned by Revolutionary War veteran John Watson and his wife Elizabeth Lowry Watson. Their son, Josiah Ogden Watson born Sept. 24, 1784, whose reconstructed home stands today in Flowers Plantation, inherited the property. Dr. Watson served as a hospital surgeon during the War of 1812 and served under Andrew Jackson at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. A successful planter who owned more than 10,000 acres in Johnston and Wake Counties, Dr. Watson also was active in local and state politics, serving in the N.C. House of Commons. Active as a delegate in the Democratic Party, Dr. Watson was involved in national elections and ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1841. In Raleigh, Dr. Watson served on a six-man commission to create the Insane Asylum of North Carolina, later known as Dorothea Dix Hospital. He was a leading supporter of the North Carolina Central Rail Road, built between 1851 and 1856. Dr. Watson died June 12, 1852. Some of the money bequeathed in his will was used to organize the Ravenscroft School in Raleigh in 1937.
The Dr. Watson Inn is one of the iconic symbols that represents Flowers Plantation. View a tour of the home here.