This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
THE reunion at Richmond of horticultural friends and members of the Society, was held under many favorable auspices, and proved extremely pleasant and successful. The utmost good nature and cordiality existed among all, and nothing occurred to mar the enjoyment of the occasion. Quite an effort had been made to induce a larger delegation than usual from our Northern Societies, in order to show to our Southern friends our interest in their welfare,, and encourage them by an attendance which would elicit special interest. And it is gratifying to notice how freely the response was accepted, and how well our Northern and Western Pomolo-gists seconded the effort by attending in person in large numbers. Boston, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Michigan, were well represented either by societies, prominent individuals, or exhibitions of fruit. And it was hoped that now, since an opportunity of unusually favorable character was afforded the South to exhibit their product, it would be accepted and grandly responded to.
We need hardly repeat here our disappointment. For with the exception of the fruits of Virginia, whose growers had manifested the utmost interest and zeal in rendering the whole occasion a creditable success at least to the old Dominion, yet the display from other Southern States was meagre, and indefinite. It seemed as if there was either an apathy in interest, or a constitutional inertia and indisposition to effort, which rendered it an impossibility to gather together the right material, and form an union of heart, hands and products in supporting so worthy an institution. We speak frankly, for the fact is not to be disguised that the South did not respond as freely as was expected, nor as much as would have been to her credit.
But the overflowing generosity from other States, as well as from private individuals, more than relieved the vacancy, and as an exhibition of native American fruits, it is truthful to say, it has never been excelled.
At the last session of the Society in Philadelphia, two years since, it will be remembered that the first prize of honor was bestowed upon the fruits of Kansas, and the award has been to her citizens a matter of pride, congratulation, and even of National fame. That so young a State should thus distance all competitors from the older portions of the country was thought remarkable, and an event of unusual importance.
But at this meeting we are glad to see that the prise was awarded to a State younger still, Nebraska, who we have long felt, if afforded the proper opportunity, would distinguish herself in a worthy manner. Her capabilities are not one half understood by our people, and the prise is all the more remarkable from the fact thai the fruit is grown in a country hitherto considered entirely unsuited to fruit culture, and the latest of all our States, which has devoted any attention to the subject.
The discussions of the Society extended over three days; considerable time was devoted to business matter and the organisation of its meeting, after which the revision of the fruit lists received the attention of the members. Very little news was developed in this line, and we must consider the occasion successful, principally for the opportunity it afforded for a pleasant reunion of friends, and a fine display of fruit.
Marshall P. Wilder, of Boston, dwelt gracefully on some of the leading horticultural topics of the day. He paid due tribute to the memory of those distinguished Pomologists who were dead and gone. Then he contrasted the progress of the Society from its opening, when it numbered but one hundred and seven members, to the present time, when there are three hundred and eleven; and also to the wonderful extent of fruit culture and facilities for transportation, the evidences of which are seen in the fact, that our fruit markets are now supplied with fruit from New England, the Middle States, California, Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Delaware, and other points, one to two thousand miles apart.
The leading points of his address are as follows:
1st. The influence of warm, dry seasons.
2d. Draining of fruit lands.
3d. Preparation and cultivation of the soil.
4th. Manures and their application.
6th. Thinning of fruit.
7th. Insects and diseases.
10th. Originating new varieties.
The fruit collections exhibited were principally as follows:
There were 146 varieties of apples, 15 of peaches, 13 of pears, one of plums, one of grapes - contributed by the Nebraska State Horticultural and Pomological Society, of which J. H. Masters is President, and R. W. Furnas is Secretary, and were raised principally in the neighborhood of Nebraska City. Much of the fruit had been a week on the journey, and it is very much to the credit of the State that its fruit should have borne transportation for so long a distance and so well as to make a better appearance than all others. It received the first prize of the Society for finest collection.
Was represented by contributions from the Kansas Horticultural Society, under the supervision of Drs. Housley and Stayman. Two hundred varieties of apples were on the table, believed to be the largest number of any in the room. They had also 20 varieties of pears, and 20 of grapes.
Sent from Grand Rapids, [under the care of A. T. Lindermann, 108 varieties of apples of very superior quality, 10 varieties of pears, five of grapes, and some peaches. The fruit was packed well and arrived in excellent order.
Through Parker Earle, exhibits 200 varieties of apples, and also a fine collection of pears.