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.
A chance seedling which originated on the grounds of Honorable Samuel Walker, of Roxbury, Mass., and by him named Mt. Vernon. Specimens from which these outlines and descriptions were made came from W. S. Little, Esq., Rochester, N. Y.
Tree, vigorous, an early bearer; wood, resembling Flemish Beauty in color; buds, more prominent, and forming a symmetrical tree, producing its fruit in clusters.
Fruit, generally of full medium size, form varying, but as a rule resembling our largest outline, being globular, pyriform, and oblique ; skin, smooth, but not glossy smooth; color, a rich cinnamon russet brown; stem, short, enlarged, and wrinkled at junction with fruit. Occasional specimens are nearly globular, having the stem set with a slight depression. Calyx, small, with short open segments; some specimens have but a trace of calyx; basin, smooth, even, varying in depth ; flesh, yellowish, granulated, juicy, crisp, melting, sweet cinnamon aroma, almost if not quite "best." Season, December.
Fig. 31. - Mount Vernon Pear.
This is one of the most vigorous growing varieties we have ever seen. Grafts inserted last spring, have made an extraordinary growth. We have great hopes that it will prove what we have long wanted, our best winter pear. Will any one favor us with opinions of quality, color, ripening and productiveness?
RIPE specimens of this new fruit have been received by us from Rochester, N. Y. The fruit is of medium to large size, obtuse pyriform shape, with rich russet surface, slightly tinged with red. Upon cutting the fruit, the juice is found as free and abundant as in the Bartlett; grain is fine, about like that of the Beurre d'Anjou, and quality very spicy and aromatic; perhaps the word superb will partly help out our expression of its delicious flavor. We have long wanted a first class winter pear for profitable market cultivation, and nothing had as yet seemed to fill exactly the need, until we observed the announcement of the Mount Vernon. Its growth upon a small graft in the garden of a friend near Dover, Del., was most luxuriant, even surpassing the vigor of the Vicar of Winkfield or Bartlett, and for two seasons, it has seemed to become more and more firmly fixed in our favorable estimation. The fruit now comes to hand, and our expectations are more than confirmed, and the flavor is better than we supposed was possible. It fills the gap completely, and the Mount Vernon we now crown king of the winter pears.
We consider it superior in quality to the Lawrence or Beurre d'Anjou. In vigor of growth we know of no pear grown that can equal it; the only point we yet lack positive information on, is its productiveness and uniform bearing. This variety now helps to complete the list of desirable sorts of pears for successive ripening. First, for early autumn, comes the Bartlett; for medium autumn, the Seokel; for late autumn, the Beurre d'Anjou; for early winter, the Lawrence; for late winter, the Mount Vernon; add to these five standards, the unapproachable dwarf variety, the Duchesse d'Angou-leme, and we have a list of unspeakable value, every tree of which is healthy, hardy, productive, and can be grown successfully in every portion of the United States.
The Mount Vernon has very rare qualifications. It ripens at a time when pears are few and prices high; it is an excellent keeper; it is of good sue ; has a handsome color, the best of all winter pears, in this respect, we have ever seen, and can safely be classed as a market variety, quite as profitable as the Bartlett, and as acceptable as the Lawrence.
The Mount Vernon pear, the Germantown Telegraph says, " turns out to come short of the glory claimed for it. In the first place it is said to possess a 'peculiar flavor which may not suit all tastes,' and then it is an early winter, not a late winter sorts Ripens generally in November."
We think very differently from the above. Philadelphia is a very poor locality for first class pears. We have seen the Mount Vernon growing very vigorously in Delaware and Virginia, and think it entitled to equal meritorious rank with the Beurre d'Anjou and Lawrence. It is a handsome fruit, and flavor is spicier than either of the above.