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Liberty County Historical Markers

LeConte Botanical Gardens

  • Source: Ed Jackson
  • Marker: LeConte Botanical Gardens
  • Location: U.S. 17 two miles south of Riceboro at Retreat


Five miles west of here on the old Post Road, the southern most postal route in America, is the site of the home and botanical garden of Louis LeConte, naturalist, mathematician, and scholar, for whom the famous LeConte Pear was named. A native of New Jersey, Dr. LeConte was married to Ann Quarterman, a member of Midway Church in 1812. He established his famed botanical gardens on his extensive plantation. In his attic he fitted a chemical laboratory which included novelties of a botanical garden in which he cultivated rare plants, which came from all parts of the world. Although the modest Dr. LeConte did not exploit his achievements, it was nothing unusual for visitors from foreign lands to view his gardens.

Dr. LeConte’s internationally known sons, Dr. John LeConte, born in 1818 and Dr. Joseph LeConte, born in 1823, at the family plantation, were two of the most distinguished scientific scholars of the nineteenth century. They made the University of California famous.