History of Bass Pecan Company
In 1899, I.E. Bass came to Lumberton, Mississippi, where he planted his first pecan trees. It wasn’t long before he began selling his pecan crop to friends and family which led to the beginnings of Bass Pecan Company.
Mr. Bass published his first catalog in 1909, selling in-shell pecans and pecan trees under the name I.E. Bass & Sons Pecan Company. Over the years, the company continuously increased the catalog distribution and mail-order business, and by 1928, the company was mailing a record 1.5 million catalogs world-wide. I.H. Bass, one of the Bass sons, took a special interest in pecans. He learned how to graft and improve the seedling pecan tree. After graduating from Tulane University in 1910, he returned to Lumberton to take an active role in the management and operation of I.E. Bass & Sons Pecan Company.
During the years immediately following World War I, I.H. Bass bought several pecan nurseries along the Mississippi Gulf Coast which was the birthplace of many of the best-known pecan varieties at the time and some we still view as the best tasting pecans today.
Several varieties from the Mississippi Gulf Coast such as Forkert, Jackson and Stuart, have become synonymous with papershell or improved variety pecans. The Bass son parlayed the varieties from these Mississippi nurseries into what would become the largest pecan tree nursery in the world for the next several decades. Today we still sell the Forkert and Jackson nuts and trees. By 1925, I.H. Bass purchased his fathers’ interest in the company and changed its name to Bass Pecan Company.
The 1930s found Bass Pecan Company shipping so many trees and catalogs that the U.S. Postal Service built a new post office in Lumberton just to handle the increased mail from the company.
The current Mississippi owners, Max and Susan Draughn, acquired Bass Pecan Company in 2006 and moved the operations from Lumberton to Raymond, Mississippi. The base of operations is an almost 500-acre farm Originally, this farm had a square mile of pecan trees planted around 1870. The trees that remain today from that original plantation are still being harvested each year.
The current owners spent a year cleaning up the property and planting more pecan trees. In 2007, they published their first Bass Pecan catalog, part catalog and part history book, a nod to the founding family.
It is now a commercial pecan farm where Bass Pecan Company sells pecan trees to home owners, hobby farmers and large pecan farms as well as pecans to the retail public, to fruit stands and to large wholesalers.
In the Fall of 2022, Bass Pecan opened a new retail pecan store - open strictly during pecan season, mid-October through December. This store offers shelled and inshell pecans to the metro Jackson public. An updated website, BassPecan.com, makes it easy for customers around the world to have pecans shipped directly to them.
Bass Pecan Tree Nursery can be found on the web at BassPecanTrees.com for many varieties of pecan trees. As times have changed, Bass Pecan Company has changed as well but remains ever faithful to the uncompromising quality that has made it successful since 1906.