Joseph Gaston.

Portland, Oregon, its history and builders : in connection with the antecedent explorations, discoveries, and movements of the pioneers that selected the site for the great city of the Pacific (Volume 1) online

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tation would not exceed five cents a box ; and yet these apples are sent entirely
across the continent at a cost of fifty cents a box for freight, put in cold storage
in New York city, and later on sent to London and other cities of Europe, and sold
at such prices as give the dealers profits and expenses all along the line. None of
the Pacific coast cities buy these fine apples ; nor do they get anythuig that is equal
to them. The people of the Pacific coast won't pay New York prices for Oregon
apples. The same may be said of pears produced in Rogue River valley in south-
ern Oregon. Rogue River pears are sent to Montreal, Canada, as well as to New
York. These facts seem to prove that the demand for Oregon fruit is not
likely to be over-supplied within a lifetime.

When Oregon sent its delegation to the World's Fair Exposition at Buffalo,
the enthusiastic representatives of Oregon fruit put up a flaring aggressive placard
over their exhibits, which was at the time thought to be over-wrought, and claim-
ing too much, but which it seems that time and trial is fully vindicating, as follows:


"Come Doum Arkansas! Come Donm British Columbia! Come Dozvn Virginia!

Come Doztm New York! Come Down World! The Oregon

Rooster is up to Stay! We Show the Biggest Apples,

and the Biggest and Best Fruit of All Kinds!

They are no' Flies on Oregon Fruit."

This great victory for Oregon fruit against all competition in the whole world
that has shown fruit at the national expositions has not been accomplished with-
out the application of persistent painstaking labor, long and careful experience,
and scientific knowledge. Fruit pests of all kinds have had to be combated and
reduced to the minimum ; soils had to be studied ; the varieties of fruit adapted to
different soils had to be determined; and the methods of care and culture thor-
oughly studied. In this work the professors of the Oregon Agricultural Ex-
periment Station have given their best thought and hearty aid and support.
Experimenters and observers in every locality have freely contributed their time
and money; and the most disagreeable and thankless task of enforcing the law
against fruit pests so as to clean up old orchards has been laid on shoulders that
knew they must sacrifice friends and popularity by a faithful discharge of duty.
The hardest job in this last line of duty in the whole state fell to the lot of Mr.
Millard O. Lownsdale, a son of the founder of the city of Portland. Mr. Lown-
dale had gone up to "Old Yamhill" County, where the oft-time praised "big red
apples" alvv'ays grew, and purchased one of the most sightly and perfect locations
for a great commercial orchard in the state; and had at great expense converted
it into not only a most beautiful estate, but also into a great money making propo-


sition. The only "fly in the ointment" was the neglect and refusal of his neigh-
bors, proprietors of the old "big red apple" trees, to clean up their old trees, purge
them of scab, fungus, scale, and codling moth. His example was not sufficient
to secure reform. The law must be enforced, and Lownsdale was appointed by
the governor to enforce the law. Then the trouble commenced. The inspector
pointed to the law and demanded compliance or destruction of the infected trees.
The owners pointed to their glorious past, and the ties and memories of the days
long gone by when these dear old trees fed the multitude, and under whose sur-
viving boughs generations of children had played — and eaten red apples. James
Whitcomb Riley's lines were invoked to stay the hands of the destroyers. And
here we say good bye to "the old red apples."

"The orchard lands of long ago !

O drowsy winds, awake and blow
The snowy blossoms back to me,

And all the buds that used to be !
Blow back again the grassy ways

Of truant feet and lift the haze
Of happy summer from the trees

That trail their tresses in the seas
Of grain that float and overflow

The orchard lands of long ago !

"Blow back the melody that slips

In lazy laughter from the lips
That marvel much that any kiss

Is sweeter than the apple is.
Blow back the twitter of the birds ;

The lisp, the thrills, and the words
Of merriment that found the shine

Of summer time a glorious wine,
That drenched the leaves that loved it so

In orchard lands of long ago.

"O Memory ! Alight and sing

Where rosy-bellied pippins cling.
And golden sunsets glint and gleam

As in that old Arabian dream —
The fruits of that enchanted tree

The glad Aladdin robbed for me!
And drowsy winds awake, and fan

My blood as when it overran
A heart, ripe as the apples grow.

In orchard lands of long ago V

Since the above was written Mr. Lownsdale mentioned above, sold his 300
acre fruit farm in Yamhill County to Michigan capitalists for the sum of $300,000,


A number of valuable additions have been made to the fruits of this region by
the work of Oregon horticulturists. The largest and best cherry now produced
anywhere on the face of the earth was developed by Joseph H. Lambert, residing
within two miles of Portland city limits. "The Lambert" cherry was produced
by Mr. Lambert at his nursery near Milwaukie, about twenty-five years ago.
It is the largest of cherries, dark rich color, and of a delicious cherry flavor and


commands the highest price at the market, and can be shipped in good condition
as far as New York city.

Mr. Lambert was born in Indiana, December i, 1825, and moved to Iowa in
1847, working on a farm, and later forming a partnership in operating a portable
saw mill. In the spring of 1850 he and a man named David Watkins prepared an
outfit and started for the California Eldorado, but when the party which had
joined the two hardy emigrants reached the point where the roads fork, one going
to Oregon and the other to California, Lambert and one member of the party
decided on Oregon and they wintered near Salem. In the spring of '51, Mr. Lam-
bert went to Yreka, California, and worked in the mines long enough to discover
he was not cut out for that sort of occupation, and he returned to the Willamette
valley and went into the logging business, being employed by Aleek & Luelling,
of Milwaukie. He soon gave this up and joined a surveying party which ran
the meridan line from Portland to Puget Sound. When this was completed, the
same party ran the first standard parallel south and then townshipped a few
tiers, which took in Salem.

Mr. Lambert was introduced to the pursuit of horticulture in an odd sort of
way. He had during the winter and spring of 1853 earned a considerable sum
of money by leasing and operating the Meek & Luelling mill, and had about
decided to return to Salem. But his employers were financially embarassed and
could not pay him, but offered him work on their nursery until they could meet
the obligation. He worked for the firm until 1854, and after residing on a 320-
acre donation claim in Powell's valley he and his father-in-law, Henry Miller,
of Milwaukie, bought Mr. Meek^s interest in the orchards for $25,000.

After various ups and downs the farm was paid for, and some years later
Lambert bought out the other interests and became the exclusive proprietor of
the once famous orchard and the historical spot where the first cultivated fruit
west of the Rocky mountains was produced.

The cherry trees which formed that section of the nursery were brought across
the plains in an ox wagon packed in boxes and growing in their native soil.

Mr. Lambert lived to be eighty-four years of age and passed away, full of
honors, as of years, the benefactor of mankind, and carrying with him into the
great future the praises and prayers of all who knew him.

Not far from Mr. Lambert's nursery, in an equally old and successful nursery of
Henderson Luelling another very valuable cherry was produced some years pre-
ceding the Lambert. As experience with it proves its great value — specially val-
uable as a shipper to long distances — the fruit of necessity must have a name, and
Mr. Luelling not caring for the honor himself, called it the "Bing" in honor of
Bing, a chinaman who had for a quarter of a century most faithfully labored in
the nursery and taken care of his employer's interests — many other fruits have
been produced in this vicinity that cannot be noticed here. This shows the his-
torical interest in fruit culture at this point, where the great fruit interest of the
Pacific coast started sixty-two years ago. ^ '


The great gold mine success in producing the best apples in the world in the
vicinity of Portland, Oregon, has not failed to catch the dollars as well as the
attention of many classes of people. Real estate "boomers" and speculators were
among the first to rush into the business. Good fruit lands were not only grabbed
up and sold out at speculative prices in small tracts ; but also lands that were
worthless for fruit have been worked ofif on the unwary and inexperienced at
prices one hundred times their value for any purpose. Other land dealers, more
honest and having confidence in their lands have divided them into ten acre tracts
and sold them out at prices that would cover the cost and profit on the land, and
all the expenses of setting to trees, cultivating and caring for them for five years,
and then delivering the orchard in its first bearing to the purchaser. This form


of investing in a fruit farm has been a favorite plan with city people of moderate
means, for moderate fixed salaries ; and with no class more popular than with the
teachers in our public schools, hundreds of them having put their savings into
such investments.


A recent issue of the Daily Oregonian noticing this phase of public interest
in fruit growing, says :

"A number of teachers in the public sghools of Portland and elsewhere in
the Pacific northwest have invested their savings in small acreage tracts in this
vicinity, with the view, it is said, of becoming associated apple-growers. Consid-
ering the price of the acreage bought, the cost of putting the land under culti-
vation and buying trees and properly caring for them until they begin to bear,
the venture is a brave one. This is especially true in view of the fact that the
women buyers will not be able to do any of the work themselves but must hire
everything done. Still the hope that induces a toiler on a salary to undertake an
enterprise of this kind in a small way is by no means a forlorn one. As the years
go on, this acreage will increase in value, and the apple trees, if judiciously se-
lected, properly set and cared for, will, in ten years, be an asset that will lighten
the prospect which every teacher faces, of being in due time dropped from the
roll as out of date with new fads and methods in education that are growing in
favor, but with which the practical, sober-minded teacher is not in sympathy.

The prospect of outdated usefulness is appalling to a wage-earner, whose daily
necessities absorb all, or nearly all the returns of his or her labor. This is espe-
cially true of persons of thrifty nature. To these the small investment made
during the earning period is the one assurance of comfort in the evening of life.
A well-cultivated tract of a few acres is perhaps the ideal surety in such cases.
It carries a promise of maintenance in a simple, independent way.

Encouraging in connection with this venture of teachers is the experience of
Professor J. L. Dumas, ex-president of the Washington Horticultural Society
and for many years a teacher. To a "liking for a good mellow apple" he ac-
credits the rare good fortune that has taken him from the ranks of poorly-paid
pedagogues and made him a retired apple-grower. Unable to find apples suited
to his taste in past years, he conceived the idea of raising them. He accordingly
invested $3,000, the savings of twenty years in school-teaching, in 140 acres of
apple land near Dayton, Washington. Some twenty years later he sold his
orchard for $150,000, having in the meantime profited to the extent of $125,000
from the sale of apples growing on the land. Relative success with a five-acre
tract of good apple land contiguous to a growing market would settle the question
of support in retirement — whether from age, inclination or dismissal, for many
a teacher who wonders what she will do to maintain herself when the time that
is surely coming comes."


It was stated by an agricultural journal in 1886, that at that time there was a
larger acreage planted in prunes in Oregon than all other fruits combined. This
was probably over-stating the matter. But as the first commercial prune orchard
in all the three states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho was planted by Dr. J. R.
Cardwell, within two miles of this city, and as Portland has been the center of
the prune industry of Oregon and Washington, it is a necessary part of this

Dr. Cardwell planted his first thousand prune trees in 1871, and kept increas-
ing his acreage for several years. S. A. Clarke of Salem, planted a prune orchard
in 1875. A. W. Hiddon, planted the first prune orchard in Washington in 1877.
But the planting of prunes on an extensive scale, did not commence until 1886.
Then the prune fever captured whole communities, notably that of Clarke County,
Washington, across the Columbia from this city ; where there are hundreds of


thousands of fine prune trees. The crop of prunes in Oregon in the year 1894
was two and a half milhon pounds. This last year it was twenty-eight million


Within the past six years a great interest has been aroused in the vicinity of
Portland in the cultivation of French walnuts. Col. Henry E. Dosch, himself a
native of France, has done a great work in enlightening the American people
on this fruit.

The so-called "EngHsh" walnut originated in Persia, where it throve for
many centuries before it was carried to Europe — to England, Germany, France,
Spain, and Italy — different varieties adapting themselves to each country. The
name "walnut" is of German origin, meaning "foreign nut." The Greeks called
it "the Royal nut" and the Romans, "Jupiter's acorn," "Jove's nut," the gods
having been supposed to subsist on it.

The great age and size to which the walnut tree will attain has been demon-
strated in these European countries ; one tree in Norfolk, England, 100 years
old, 90 feet high, and with a spread of 120 feet, yields 54,000 nuts a season;
another tree, 300 years old, 55 feet high, and having a spread of 125 feet, yields
1,500 pounds each season. In Crimea there is a notable walnut tree 1,000 years
old that yields in the neighborhood of 100,000 nuts annually. It is the property
of five Tartar families, who subsist largely on its fruit.

In European countries walnuts come into bearing from the sixteenth to the
twenty-fourth year; in Oregon, from the eighth to the tenth year; grafted trees,
sixth year.

The first walnut trees were introduced into America a century ago by Span-
ish Friars who planted them in southern California. It was not until compara-
tively recent years that the hardier varieties from France adapted to commercial
use, were planted in California and later in Oregon.

English walnuts for desert, walnut confectionery, walnut cake, walnuts in
candy bags at Christmas time — thus far has the average person been introduced
to this, one of the greatest foods of the earth. But if the food specialists are
heard, if the increasing consumption of nuts as recorded by the government
bureau of imports is consulted — in short, if one opens his eyes to the tremendous
place the walnut is beginning to take among food products the world over, he will
realize that the walnut's rank as a table luxury is giving way to that of a neces-
sity; he will acknowledge that the time is rapidly approaching when nuts will
be regarded as we now regard beefsteak and wheat products. The demand is
already so great that purveyors are beginning to ask where are the walnuts of
the future to come from ?

In 1902, according to the department of commerce and labor, we imported
from Europe 11,927,432 pounds of EngHsh walnuts; each year since then these
figures have increased, until in 1906 they reached 24,917,023 pounds, valued at
$2,193,653. In 1907 we imported 32,590,000 pounds of walnuts and 20,000,000
more were produced in the United States. In Oregon alone there are consumed
$400,000 worth of nuts annually.

The Prince Walnut Grove of Dundee, Yamhill county, thrills the soul of the
onlooker with its beauty, present fruitfulness and great promise. Lying on a
magnificent hillside, the long rows of evenly set trees — healthy, luxurious _ in
foliage, and filled with nuts — present a picture of ideal horticulture worth going
many miles to see. There is not a weed to mar the perfect appearance of the
well-tilled soil ; not a dead limb, a broken branch, a sign of neglect or decay. In
all 200 acres are now planted to young walnuts, new areas being added each sea-
son. From the oldest groves, about forty-five acres, the trees from twelve to
fourteen years old, there was marketed in 1905, between two and three tons of
walnuts; in 1906 between four and five tons;^in 1907 ten tons were harvested,
bringing the highest market price, 18 and 20 cents a pound wholesale, two cents


more than California nuts. The crop for 1908 was at least one-third heavier than
for 1907. One tree on the Prince place, a Mayette, that has received extra cul-
tivation, by way of experiment, now twelve years old, has a spread of thirty-eight
feet, and yielded in its eleventh year, 125 pounds of excellent nuts.

While it is generally found that seedling trees properly treated come into
bearing the eighth year, this crop is usually light, doubling each successive season
for seven or eight years. From then on there is a steady increase in crop and
hardiness for many years. Often trees in Oregon bear in their sixth year; while
there are mstances on record of trees set out in February, bearing the following
autumn. This is no criterion, however, merely an instance illustrating the un-
usual richness of Oregon soil, and its perfect adaptibility to walnut culture.


The very fact that in 1907 Oregon grown walnuts commanded several cents
a pound higher price than those grown elsewhere indicated their market value.
When ordinary nuts sold for 12 and 16 cents a pound, Oregon nuts brought
18 and 20 cents.

New York dealers who cater to the costliest trade throughout the United
States, and who have never handled for this purpose any but the finest types of
imported nuts, pronounced the Oregon product satisfactory from every stand-
point — finely flavored, nutty, meaty and delicious. They were glad to pay an
extra price to secure all that were available.

In the home market the leading dealers of Portland and northwest cities
readily dispose of all the Oregon walnuts obtainable at an advanced price. In
fact, the Oregon walnut has commanded a premium in every market into which it
has been introduced.


Like the apple business, the sale of lands for walnut plantations has been
actively pushed for several years, and all sorts and conditions of men and women
have been urged to put their savings into this new industry.

The walnut agent literature is extensive and interesting. From one of their
booklets edited by J. C. Cooper we take the following extract :

"Professional men and women, business men and women, those living in the
cities and towns and confined to offices, stores and factories, will find an invest-
ment in forty or fifty acres of walnut land at the present time wholly within their
possibilities. Special terms can be arranged and their groves planted and cared
for at small cost. While they are working their groves will be growing toward
maturity, and in less than a decade, they may be free from the demands of daily
routine; the grove will furnish an income, increasing each season until the twen-
tieth year, and will prove the most pleasant kind of old age annuity, and the
richest inheritance a man could leave his children.

The practical farmer, or the inexperienced man who desired to escape the
tyranny of city work by way of the soil, will find that a walnut grove ofifers an
immediate home, a living from small fruits and vegetables while his trees are
maturing, and at the end of eight or ten years the beginning of an income that
will every year thereafter increase, while the labor exacted will gradually lessen
until it amounts to practically nothing. Like rearing children, a walnut grow-
er's troubles are over with the trees' infant days.

The capitalist can find no better place for his money than safely invested in
Oregon walnut lands ; the rise is certain and near."

B. M. Lelong, secretary of the California state board of horticulture, wrote in

"California growers have had a long and varied experience with many fail-
ures, and when they finally began to place their walnuts on the market they were


President of the State Horticultural Society


>- \



obliged to accept the humilating price of from 3 to 6 cents a pound less t^an that
paid for imported walnuts." . u *. 'a

In Oregon the reverse is true. Our walnuts command a price above that paid
for walnuts raised anywhere else. The size, cracking out quantity, delicate
flavor and delicious creamy taste, are the qualities that give the Oregon walnut
its surpassing excellence.


Hood River, Ore., Sept. 14, 1910.— Dr. W. R. Colley reports the largest yield of
Gravenstein apples in the valley. He packed 251 boxes from eight 14-year-old
trees It will be interesting to know that the fruit sold for $1.50 per box, or at
the rate of $47.06 per tree. At this rate an acre containing 60 Gravenstein trees
would bring in a gross return of between $2,500 and $3,000. _ _ _

The average net profits to the farmer in raising strawberries m the vicimty
of Portland this season of 1910 has been two hundred dollars an acre, counting
nothing for the labor of the farmer producing the crop.

Profits on acres of the fancy varieties of apples— Spitzenbergs and Yellow
Newtowns— in both Hood River and Rogue River valleys have been m orchards
well taken care of, ranging from six hundred to one thousand dollars an acre.
Cornice pears in Rogue River valley have produced even greater prohts.

Discussing this question in a conservative tone, the Daily Oregonian ot bep-

''""'Tyus'irk 7lhis more closely. Orchards and orchard lands in Oregon
are in a class by themselves. When orchards in bearing in organized or de-
veloped districts and therefore planted not less than seven years ago, reahze from
$c;oo to $900 an acre for their fruit, year by year, or even more, no one counts or
at least ought to, object to a price based on four years produce. And yet one
rarely hears of t^ore than $2,000 an acre being asked for bearmg orchards In
well cared for modern orchards there seems no sign of or reason ^^r ^h^ t^ees
growing old and wearing out for many a year to come. Nor does there appear
Iny probability of the market being outrun by production. Good orchards in
Oregon, then, must be good to buy and to hve on.


The apple crop in all the states east of the Rocky mountains is Packed in
barrels and sold by the barrel. The fruit crops of the states west of the Rocky
mountains are all packed in boxes, and sold by the box. The box is much han^^-J
and better than a barrel. And the fruit box now m universal "^e m the Facihc
states was designed and developed in Oregon, and manufactured first at MUwau
kie for Luelling, Meek and Lambert.

Fruit crops in Oregon for 1906, 7, 8 and 9.

APPLES. -^ ,

Boxes Value

.. 1,082,200 $1,423,800

^907 1,310,000 1,215,000

^900 1,100,000 1,350.000

1909 '


Boxes. Value.

1906 ^5 870 248,260

^907 • _ 420,000 210,000

^908 400,000 240,000

1909 ■ ■ ^




Boxes, Value.

1906 $276,250

1907 247,760 286,600

1908 272,000 134,500

1909 275,000 145,000


Pounds Value

1907 5459.000 $230,500

1908 4,950,000 165,000

1909 4,500,000 175,000


Pounds. Value.

1906 $ 693,500

1907 25,454,185 12,098,925

1908 16,500,000 850,000

1909 28,000,000 950,000

Oregon prunes are exported to England and other foreign countries. 80 per

Online LibraryJoseph GastonPortland, Oregon, its history and builders : in connection with the antecedent explorations, discoveries, and movements of the pioneers that selected the site for the great city of the Pacific (Volume 1) → online text (page 56 of 104)