This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
It is but fitting that with the maturity of the exhibition fruits should pour in with great abundance. It has indeed been the great feature of the month. No such an exhibit of fruits was ever made on this earth; and Americans had reason to be more than ever proud of their country, as the foreign visitors showered encomiums on the great exhibit. Among those who have especial reason to be proud is chief Landreth. There is no department of the exhibition that has had so difficult a road to travel as the Agricultural. It is no secret that the plan as originally drawn out and partially acted on almost ignored Agriculture and Horticulture. At the eleventh, or, more properly, near the twelfth hour, the subject was taken up. Horticulture had an early recognition from Philadelphians, and the great conservatory became a part of the original plan; but the commission never seemed to know what to do with it, and instead of its having any bearing on the great central idea of the exposition - the giving of the people an idea of how horticulture has progressed in America during the last century - it became a mere deposit for a few palms and economic plants, chiefly from the United States Botanic Garden and the Department of Agriculture. Fortunately the Bureau fell into the charge of an excellent practical landscape gardener, who succeeded admirably in showing what good summer bedding plants can be brought to in our climate.
That branch has not shamed America; but there was no place at all for fruits in the Horticultural Department, where all over the world it would naturally be placed, and so pomology was turned adrift to the cold charity of the world till Agriculture ran against the little child and took the foundling in. Thus it has been with Mr. Landreth. He has had to work without time for any well-digested and uniform plan, and hence has had to make all things work in together as they came up as best he could. In spite of all this the Agricultural Department has been one of the most successful of the whole exhibits, and we are satisfied that if the visitors could be polled by the Finance Committee, to know where the dollars came from, the vote would be that more came attracted by the Agricultural Department than by any other - the Government building, perhaps, excepted.
But just now we are dealing with the fruits. We will pass over with a mere reference to doubts, annoyances, and innumerable difficulties which surrounded the agricultural chief - especially at the hands of those who would no doubt have been assistants instead, if they could have understood the exact situation of things. The only honest critics of the department are those who have had only a partial knowledge of the surroundings. Yet, in spite of all these difficulties, nothing could be finer than the show.
The fruit was arranged in long, narrow tables of three shelves each. The real magnificence of the whole, as seen at one glance, would have been better appreciated by flat tables, but this would have seriously interfered with the examination of the fruit by the judges, and the facility for reading the names and studying the fruit by the Visitors. One or the other idea had to be sacrificed, and we think the management acted wisely in preferring instruction to mere general effect. The chief exhibitors were the Massachusetts Horticultural Society; Worcester County Society, of Mass.; Benj. G. Smith, of Cambridge, Mass.; John Cummings, of Massachusetts; J. W. Manning, of Reading, Massachusetts; A. S. Sheller, of Lewisburg, Pa.; Berks County Agricultural Society, of Pa.; J. A.'Nelson, of Indian Run, Pa.; H. M. Engle & Son, of Marietta, Pa.; Ellwanger &. Barry, Rochester, N. Y.; Mr. Ricketts, Newburg, New York; Minnesota Horticultural Society. The State Society of Iowa, James Smith, Des Moines, Iowa, and the individual entries from Iowa, were quite numerous.
Of these we noted some fine fruit from E. H.
Calkins, R. S. Willett, W. W. Carhart, G. Hol-lingsworth, David Leonard. Michigan had excellent representatives in J. W. Humphrey, of Plymouth, H. Dale Adams, and the Michigan State Pomological Society. Canada received great praise. She has made continuous exhibits from the opening, through the Fruit Growers' Society of Ontario, and on this occasion excelled even herself. The plums especially attracted universal praise. Mr. Dougall, of Windsor, and Arnold, of Paris, were conspicuously prominent by instructive items in the exhibit. Indiana did very well through her secretary, W. H. Ragan, as did Connecticut through Mr. Augur. Among those from the State whose contributions attracted observation, we noted General Noble, B. H. Atwater, C. P. Augur, David Williams, T. C. Austin, P. M. Augur, P. H. Ashton, S. D. Bradford, W. B. Gear, S. Hoyt & Son, Nathan Hart, T. S. Gold, S. S. West. Ohio had a very fine collection of fruit, but we understood that the State would pay no one to properly exhibit them, and so no one knew names of fruit, or of parties who sent them, which was unfortunate.
In like manner unfortunate was California. The fruit appeared to be fine, but the chance of turning an honest penny by selling to a centennial visitor for a dollar the same article he could buy on Philadelphia streets for a quarter was too strong on those who had charge. The very plate under the Judges' noses would be sold off before they could make an entry in their notebooks, and after many attempts to do justice as between the growers and the centennial visitors, the judges gave up California in disgust. Wisconsin did very well, as did Kansas and Nebraska, as indeed these States always do. Virginia, through the Potomac Fruit Growers' Society, did remarkably well in peaches; and among the individual exhibits of Ohio, J. C. Anderson, of Dayton, had some good peaches, and Mrs. McGregor, of Wilmington, Ohio, some fine peaches also. Delaware was represented by Wilson Green with a few very fine peaches; and Mrs. G. W. Carpenter, Daniel Smeych, A. S. Felten, E. A. Davis, and Frederick Seitz, represented the peach interests of Pennsylvania. Minnesota sent her plums and crabs, in both of which she is justly famous.
Among other exhibitors of very superior articles we may note Geo. Hussman, of Sedalia, Mo., grapes; W. N. Barnett, West Haven, Conn., grapes; Gibson & Bennett, Woodbury, N. J., various fruits; O. J.Tillson, Ulster County,N. Y,, grapes; Chas. B. Horner, Mt. Holly, N. J., grapes; Geo. W. Campbell, Delaware, O.,grapes; Egg Harbor City Agricultural Society, N. J., grapes; W. Dunn Rogers, Moorestown. N. J.; Merrick & Coleman, Geneva, N. Y., grapes; M. J. Mitcheson, Cambridge, N. J.; Jacob Steigleder, Shelburne Falls, Mass.; Marshall P. Wilder, Dorchester, Mass.; Hovey & Co., Boston, Massachusetts; E. G. B. Hatch, Corn-well Bridge, Conn.; W. R. Johnson, Water-bury, Conn.; F. Trowbridge, Milford, Conn.; Jones & Palmer, Rochester, N. Y.; H. E. Hooker, Rochester, N. Y.; Theo. J. Beaur, Moorestown, N. J.; J. S. Linderman, South Haven, Mich.; A. H. Richards, Hammonton, N. J.; W. F. Bassett, Hammonton, N. J.; B. Smith, Meriden, N. Y.; J. B. Seelye, Vine Valley, N. Y.
There were of course many other Exhibitors, making up in all over fifteen thousand plates of fruit. We can only give the names of those whose collections we personally examined. It was impossible for one man to do all in the time Only the full report of the Commission will do justice to all. The acting judges were Mr. Yellowley, of Miss.; Mr. Lyon, of Michigan; Mr. P. Earle, of Illinois; Messrs. Harrison, Schaffer, Satterthwaite, Hoopes, and Meehan, of Pa.; Parry, of New Jersey; Foster, of Iowa. Three from other States did not appear.