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The history of Flowers Plantation in Johnston County, NC

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Flowers Plantation is a vibrant, all-in-one residential community. | Photo provided by Flowers Plantation

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Note from the Branded Content Studio: We recently shared some of the history of Flowers Plantation in Johnston County — but we missed the mark in not including the slave labor that it took to make the plantation (and its owners) “successful.” Former owners John Watson and Joshua Percy Flowers both owned numerous (up to hundreds) of enslaved people during their ownership of the agricultural plantation. In its new era, Flowers Plantation’s current owner Rebecca Flowers recently shared that the organization established Thales Academy, gifted land for education and the East Triangle YMCA, and plans to begin an educational fund at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Good morning, Raleigh. 👋 We know how much y’all love learning about the history of the Triangle, so today we’re taking a look at Flowers Plantation in Johnston County, the largest Planned Urban Development (PUD) community in the Triangle.

Located just 25 minutes from Raleigh, the community offers miles of walking trails, on-site shopping + dining, excellent schools, and neighborhoods with a variety of homes, including single family, 55+, townhomes, and apartment living.

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Flowers Plantation encompasses 40 neighborhoods + multiple commercial centers. | Photo provided by Flowers Plantation

The history

Before it came to be known as Flowers Plantation in the early 1900s, the land in Johnston County along the Neuse River was called Pineville Plantation, owned by Revolutionary War veteran John Watson + his wife Elizabeth Lowry Watson.

Their son, Josiah Ogden Watson (whose reconstructed home stands today in Flowers Plantation) inherited the property. Dr. Watson served as a hospital surgeon during the War of 1812.

A successful planter who owned 10,000+ acres in Johnston + Wake Counties, Dr. Watson served on a six-man commission to create the North Carolina Hospital for the Mentally Ill, later known as Dorothea Dix Hospital.

Some of the money bequeathed in his will was used to organize the Ravenscroft School in Raleigh in 1937.

The Dr. Watson Inn

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The Dr. Watson Inn is a colonial-style structure built to replicate the original home in the exact location where it was erected in the 1700s. | Photo provided by Flowers Plantation

The site of the Dr. Watson Inn can be dated back to as early as the mid 1700s when the home was owned by the Watson family. Later purchased by Joshua Percy Flowers, for whom Flowers Plantation was renamed, the original structure was altered several times over the years, eventually falling beyond repair.

In 2006, the structure was carefully disassembled to preserve any materials that could be recycled or refurbished into the current home. Today, the Dr. Watson Inn is one of the iconic symbols that represents Flowers Plantation.

Pro tip: You can take a virtual tour of the historic home.

After purchasing the home + land in 1905, the Flowers family farmed cotton and tobacco on the plantation’s acreage. Their daughter, Rebecca, began developing Flowers Plantation in 1978 and continues her family’s tradition today.

The homes

Flowers residents can choose from single family homes, 55+ communities, townhomes, and rental homes/apartments.

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True Custom Homes is a division of True Homes that builds Elements and Traditions Collection homes in select communities. | Photo provided by Flowers Plantation

True Homes is a local semi-custom home builder that offers four different home collections in Flowers Plantation — from townhomes to elegant luxury homes and semi-custom builds — so residents can find what fits their personality, lifestyle + budget.

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Bedford at Flowers Plantation is a new single family home neighborhood from Mattamy Homes, ranging from the mid $400s-600s. | Photo provided by Flowers Plantation

Floorplans available within the Bedford community offer 2,230-3,100+ sqft of living space and 3-6 BD, 2-3.5 BA with optional Architect’s Choice enhancements like:

  • A covered or screened porch
  • A light-filled morning room
  • An upgraded primary bath

Plus, all homes within Bedford feature energy-efficient + eco-friendly designs with Smart Home features.

The events

The community hosts year-round, seasonal events for residents and Raleighites alike. Think: movie nights, Wine Down Wednesdays, and the summertime Concerts at the Crossroads series.

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Flowers Plantation’s Concerts at the Crossroads kicked off on Sun., June 26th, and the next concert is Sun., July 24th featuring Spare Change. | Photo provided by Flowers Plantation

The amenities

Flowers Plantation features top-quality amenities, social events + onsite shopping/dining that are accessible by golf cart.

The East Triangle YMCA provides programs and activities for all age groups, and there are 20+ miles of walking trailsperfect for your morning walk.

Bonus: Residents benefit from no city taxes.

Explore Flowers Plantation online or stop by the Dr. Watson Inn Visitor Center to take a tour.*

Quiz

Which neighborhood was the first to be established in the Flowers Plantation PUD?

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