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 parent tree of the Bergen is a chance seedling, found in a hedge on lands now owned by John B. Hitching, at Bay Ridge, New Utrecht, L. I., formerly Simeon Bergen, and from appearance about thirty years old. Tree, moderately vigorous, upright; young wood, reddish. An early and good bearer, but not profuse. Mr. Bergen thinks it will prove a valuable market fruit, selling readily at the same price as Bartletts.
Fruit, large, elongated, truncate-conic, inclining to pyriform, often with sides not symmetric, angular. Skin, waxen, lemon-yellow, finely shaded with crimson and fawn on the sunny side, and thickly sprinkled with brown and crimson dots. Stalk, long, rather stout, curved, inserted in a moderate depression by a fleshy ring. Calyx, small, open. Segments, stiff. Basin, small, surrounded by a wavy border. Flesh, whitish, veined with yellow, a little coarse and gritty, buttery, juicy, melting, with a sweet, aromatic flavor, delicately perfumed. Ripe last of September and first of October.
Our Frontispiece for the present month is the Bergen Pear, a native of Long Island, a much-abused place, but which, nevertheless, has given to the world its best apple, and a fair proportion of the best fruits in cultivation. The Bergen Pear was found growing in a hedge on a farm at Bay Ridge, owned at the time by Simon Bergen, from whom it took its name. The tree is still standing, and is about fifty years of age. It is naturally of a good form, and comes early into bearing; it may be called uniformly and fairly productive. The young wood is reddish, sprinkled with white dots. Though not of the best quality, it is a valuable market fruit, usually selling at the same price as the Bartlett. It is a recommendation for any pear for market purposes that it resembles the Bartlett; the people know that, and conclude, not very logically of course, that any pear that looks like it must be like it. The Bergen, when carefully ripened, is nearly of "best" quality. It is a peculiarity of this pear, that in many specimens the core and seeds are absent. Our specimen is of the average size, and was taken from a basket prepared for market; some of the specimens were nearly double this size.
The fruit on the outside of the tree becomes highly colored; the cheek in this specimen is not clearly shown, on account of the lithographic ink " striking through," as the printers say, making it look dark and dull. The season of the Bergen is from October to November. It was first brought to notice by John G. Bergen, Esq. We have gone somewhat into detail, because we think that the history of a fruit, when it is clearly known, ought to be put upon record.
THE BERGEN PEAR.
The following is our description: Size, large. Form, pyriform- to pyramidal. Color, glossy lemon yellow, shaded with crimson and fawn, and sprinkled with crimson and red dots. Flesh, whitish yellow, a little coarse, slightly gritty, melting, juicy, and sweet, with an agreeable aromatic flavor. Stalk, stout, of medium length, curved, with a fleshy ring at the base. Calyx, small, open, with stiff segments, in a small, very shallow basin. Core, very small, and, with the seeds, sometimes absent. Quality, "very good." Season, from October to November.