From the early 1900s until 1968, R. T. Greer and Co. was the Appalachian region’s leading dealer in medicinal plant materials. The business was founded in 1904 in the Smyth County town of Marion by Riley Thomas Greer, George W. Greer, and F. P. McGuire. The company collected, dried, ground, labeled, and prepared untold numbers of roots, herbs, barks, and berries. These products were shipped to pharmaceutical houses all over the country and abroad, even to China. The Appalachian region had an abundance of herbs and the herb business represented a way of life for area inhabitants and often provided their sole means of income. The company erected the present building in 1916 and operated the business here until 1968. The R. T. Greer and Co. Building stood empty until 1992 when it was reopened, selling local crafts and herbs, and holding classes on uses of herbs. It has since been converted into an apartment building.
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