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HISTORY OF HORTICULTURE IN MICHIGAN

BY J. C. HOLIES, OF DETROIT

Mr. William L. Woodbridge, son of Gov. Woodbridge, started a small nursery, mostly of pear trees, on his father's farm in 1833, when he was a school boy; with the help of one man, and with the attention he could give it himself, he was quite successful in raising trees. He raised many apples and pears from seed, some of them were very superior in flavor and beauty. He raised some trees from seeds of the Snow apple, the grain was finer and the skin lighter colored than the true Snow apple, but the flesh had the peculiar flavor and snowy whiteness of the parent. In 1836 Mr. Woodbridge sold between three and four hundred pear trees from his nursery, to be taken to Chicago. Among them were the Seckel, Summer Bon Chretian, French and English Jargonelle, Pound, Bartlett and White Doyenne. Mr. Woodbridge thinks this was the first lot of pear trees sold from a Detroit nursery, and that his was the only nursery in Detroit at that time, and it was not a very extensive one. In the autumn of 1830, or thereabouts, Gov. Woodbridge bought in New York twenty thousand small trees and plants and had them shipped from Buffalo on a schooner for Detroit. On the way up the vessel stopped at Huron and was obliged to remain there till the next spring, being frozen in. When she arrived at Detroit the trees and plants were found to be dead; the whole lot being a total loss. One of the first nurseries established in Michigan was that of E. D. and Z. K. Lay, near Ypsilanti. A short time since, I addressed a note to Mr. E-I). Lay, who still resides on his farm at Ypsilanti, asking some questions with regard to his nursery, in answer to which I received the following: Ypsilanti, February 10, 1873- "Sir—At your request I send you an account of the nursery started and carried on in the town of Ypsilanti, on the plains east of the now city of Ypsilanti.

HORTICULTURE


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