Did you know Princeville was proclaimed the Peony Capital of the World in 1981?
These lovely flowers can be seen in many local yards and also in Stevens Square.
Edward Auten Jr. was a Princeville native who turned the hobby of hybridizing peonies into a business that was once a centerpiece of town history. From 1925 until he retired from the business in 1963, Auten introduced more than 300 name varieties of peonies.
A total of ten acres displayed a spectacular vista when the peony fields would be in full bloom. Seven acres of rich red, pink and white blooms would burst open in May along both sides of Route 91 north of Princeville and three acres of peonies near Monica. At one point, Mr. Auten estimated that he had about 30,000 plants.
Now the fields are gone, but their beauty remains in the many varieties of peony that decorate the yards and gardens of our community.