This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Prof. Budd in Rural Nev Yorker says the name is from the preference the pear has for growing in sand in the East. "The ability to endure tropical heat" is the way he puts it. A very common form cultivated for years about Philadelphia, has the surface covered with very fine "Pear grit", and without knowing how the name originated, the inference always has been that this gave the name to it. If Prof. Budd has positive evidence as to the origin of the name, of course a mere guess from appearances must give way.