Feb 25, 2013
Photo circa 1935
The Wetsel Seed building at 128 West Market Street is now an historical landmark in Harrisonburg, with its name proudly shown on three sides of the building. This facility was erected in 1935 and helped the Wetsel Seed Company become a key part of the Rockingham County economy. At one point in time, Wetsel Seed greatly helped support the farmers and agriculture throughout most of the Shenandoah Valley. Today sections of the building are leased for commercial and retail space, and the second floor features the popular Union Station restaurant and bar.
Daniel Wetsel and his son started their seed business small and worked up to purchasing the current Wetsel Seed building. This picture below shows the horse drawn cart Wetsel would bring into Court Square of downtown Harrisonburg. As the seeds became more popular the cart was traded in for a small store, which then gradually grew into a series of bigger stores.
The name and reputation of Wetsel Seed grew in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County among farmers, but Wetsel also used other marketing techniques to help grow his business. This early and full color seed catalogue was a large step forward in Wetsel Seed’s advertising.
Wetsel Seed Company no longer operates out of this building in Harrisonburg, but the building will always remain connected to the company name. In recent years renovation work has been done to the building, but the history is still evident inside and out of the building.