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.
Owing to the unprecedented wet weather, during the spring months, many horticulturists were prevented from taking an active part in the first effort of the State Society in getting up an exhibition that would reflect credit on the Society and benefit the producer. In some sections of the State the incessant rain, during the period while the vines were in blossom, materially lessened the crop, both in quantity, quality, and size, which deterred many who would otherwise have taken part in the exhibition. Notwithstanding these drawbacks the exhibition was most creditable, and I have seldom witnessed a finer display of berries than were on the tables. The large concourse of people that visited the grounds during the two days of the exhibition were most agreeably disappointed, amused, and instructed on examination of the articles on the tables.
The exhibition was held under a large tent (80 X 125), on a beautiful position, commanding a fine view of the surrounding landscape, which is singularly novel and picturesque. A full band of music was in attendance, which added very much to the pleasure of the visitor.
The articles on exhibition under the spacious tent were arranged with a desire to produce the best effect, and still place the plants, berries, and vegetables where they could be closely examined by those anxious to do so. The three departments were creditably represented, and a number of single and choice specimen plants were sent by private individuals with a desire to assist the officers of the Society in making the show an attractive feature, with a hope that the Society would feel that they would promote the rapidly growing horticultural interest of the State by holding a well-managed strawberry exhibition every year.
Among those who sent collections of specimen plants were Amos Clark, Jr., State Senator, and John Hutchinson, of Elizabeth; Mrs. T. B. Peddie, Henry Bird, James Galbraith, and J. J. Harvey, of Newark. Thomas Cavanagh, of Brooklyn, sent a beautiful floral design and a handsomely arranged basket of flowers, both of which were awarded first premiums. There were several large collections of cut flowers from different parts of the State, which made the floral department very attractive. The display of strawberries was certainly very fine, and called forth high praise both from professional growers, amateurs, and consumers. There were an unusually large number of exhibitors, and the large size of the fruit of every variety gave evidence of careful culture. Nearly all the old varieties were well represented, and there were so many promising seedlings on the tables that the judges were puzzled in giving their decision in favor of the "best seedling not before exhibited".
Among those who exhibited seedlings were John Brill and L. C. Winans, of Newark ; E. Durand, of Irvington; Elias Can-field, of Waverly; D. D. Buchanan, of Elizabeth; and J. H. Foster, of Ulster County, N. Y.
Mr. Brill's No. 10 gives promise of being a fine berry. E. Durand's Seedling, "Black Defiance," was awarded the first premium as the best seedling not before exhibited. Elias Canfield's Seedling, "Wax Berry," was spoken of highly by the judges. Romeyn's Seedling was awarded a special premium.
Reisig & Hexamer, of Newcastle Westchester County, N. Y., exhibited fifty varieties; Francis Brill, of Newark, twenty varieties; E. Williams, Mont Clair, sixteen varieties; P. T. Quinn, sixteen varieties; John Crane, of Union, ten varieties; William H. Goldsmith, six varieties ; Amos Clark, Elizabeth, eight varieties ; F. W. Woodward, Rutherford Park, eight varieties.
Among those who exhibited from three to six varieties were Gen. N. W. Halstead (President of the Society) ; Benjamin Haines, Elizabeth ; Francis Newbold, Harrison; Joseph Quinn, L. C. Winans, and J. Hayes. There were several plates of Boyden's No. 30 on the tables, and in every instance this berry was spoken of in the highest terms.
Mr. Schenck, of Irvington, exhibited the plants in fruit, and also two quarts of the berries. Mr. S.'s fruit were largest on exhibition, and deserve a special notice.
The season being at least three weeks later than usual, the display of vegetables from the State was not as large as it otherwise would have been. Francis Newbold, of Hudson County, an energetic gardener, made a fine display of well-grown vegetables.
However, the deficiency from New Jersey was liberally supplied from South Carolina. B. J. Quinn & Brothers, from James Island, S. C, sent on a large and choice display of vegetables from their "truck farm," which made one of the most attractive features of the exhibition. There were twenty different varieties of vegetables in this collection, and taken separately or collectively they were most creditable to the growers, especially as they were raised on land that previous to the war produced nothing but cotton.
Fuller & Parsons, of Newark, exhibited their "Patent Berry Basket," with crates, and were awarded the first premium.
I now use this basket for marketing small fruit the present season, and I am fully satisfied that it is the best basket that I am familiar with.
Although this was the first attempt of the State Society to hold a strawberry exhibition, the results were satisfactory, and so encouraging that the officers feel quite confident that such an exhibition here each year will promote and stimulate the horticultural interest of the State. P. T. Q.