Dewberry History


You may never have heard of a dewberry, but you have probably eaten one of its cousins, the blackberry. The dewberry is closely related to the blackberry, but grows on trailing vines rather than upright brambles like the blackberry. Departing from the lumber and turpentine production in the late 18th Century, Cameron discovered a new industry to be produced in the sandy soil. This industry put the name of Cameron on the map.  In 1892, the Lucretia Dewberry was introduced to Moore County and fields were planted in rows and tied to grow vertically on liter stakes all around The Town of Cameron.  As their popularity grew in the early 1900’s,  farmers brought crates of dewberries to the Auction Shed next to the railroad where crates were purchased by the highest bidder from New York to Florida and shipped in refrigerated boxcars by rail to cities like Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, St. Louis and New York City. In the ten years from 1910 to 1920, between 60,000 and 90,000 crates of dewberries were shipped each season grown on hundreds of acres, solidifying Cameron’s reputation as the “Dewberry Capital of the World”. The dewberry industry suffered when weakened by rust disease and tobacco emerged as the major cash crop.  Dewberries continued to be grown by local farmers into the 1960’s.  The desire for dewberries has been revitalized and is being grown by Victory Vineyards and Elwin & Sons Farm in Cameron with the hope of more farms to follow.