Our first farm “The Grove” was established in 1836 by Dr. John Kennicott. Soon Kennicott was initiating partnerships with many Midwestern flower producers and pioneering new opportunities in the flower industry, such as establishing one of the first commercial ferneries in Florida.
In 1881 Dr. John’s sons Amasa and Flint established Kennicott Brothers Wholesale florist in Chicago, Illinois.
Peonies began their wholesale cut flower debut in 1884 when Amasa Kennicott started storing peonies in a makeshift coolers using a ton of dry ice to maintain temperature. It is reported in late 1890’s that The Grove sold over 300,000 peony stems in a season. The Grove had grown to three farms at that time in Southern Illinois, Northern Illinois and the Upper Peninsula Michigan.
Their older brother, Robert Kennicott, led two explorations to Russian America, which is now Alaska. He died on the shore of the Yukon River in 1865 at the age of 30, and Secretary Seward used his notes to establish the case for the purchase of Alaska from Russia (“Seward’s Folly”).
Today The Grove is transformed to Kennicott Kuts and has 11 cut flower operations between the United States and Chile.