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.
Messrs. Thorp, Smith, Hanchett, & Co., of Syracuse, were kind enough to send us specimens of this fruit, but they were received in our absence, and the drawing and description preserved for us were too imperfect to nable us to describe it fully and accurately. The specimens, too, were imperfect, laving broken stalks, and the flavor was impaired by carriage. We are very favor-.bly impressed with this pear; but from what we have learned of it from Mr. Chas. Dowsing, and others who have fruited it, we do not believe it will rank with our veryt summer fruits. It is, however, well worthy of extensive trial.
We subjoin the communication of Messrs. Thorp, Smith, Hanohett, & Co., written byMr. Fahnrstock of that firm:
"The Hosenschenk Pear is known by many names; in Pennsylvania, such as Butter Pear, Smokshouse, Schenk's Pear, Watermelon, etc. Schenk's August is a different pear, although by some called the same; it is a much more thrifty grower, with much darker wood than the Hosenschenk. Having seen a very flattering description of this pear by Dr. Brinckle, of Philadelphia, and having had several communications in relation to the same from two of out Pennsylvania friends, I brought the character of the pear before our firm, and we decided last season to propagate it largely. We now have a very fine stock. The fruit you saw was sent us from the bearing tree in Pennsylvania, from which our grafts and buds came, and we esteem it not only by far the largest pear of its season, but the best. It is as good as the best Onondaga we have ever tasted, and, in our opinion, fully equal to the Virgalieu, of which it is supposed to be a seedling. Size large, very juicy, melting, and refreshing, and will be a decided favorite, as soon as made known to the community. How so large and fine a pear, ripening in August, could be confined to so limited an area, we are unable to account for.
The original tree is from forty-five to fifty years old, on the farm of Mr. John Sohenk, of Weaver township, Penn., who raised three trees from seeds found in one pit, all of which came into bearing: one proving worthless, one of second rate fruit, and the other, the fruit we sent you, called Hosenschenk Pear, which is still thrifty, bearing annually large crops, and still growing near the smokehouse, from which it was long known as the Smokehouse Pear. Mr. Schenk is represented as a man of singular-character, much devoted to raising new trees and plants, and neglected his farming operations in order to attend to the ' smelling of water.' He went far and near for those who desired his services, and was generally very successful in finding under-streams. He wore wide 'trowsers,' and used to say that during his lifetime these same wide-legged pantaloons had been three times in fashion. Hence the name 'Hosen'-schenk, meaning 'breeches'-schenk. We are indebted to our friend Mr. J. B. Garber for the above history.
We have sent to Messrs. Hovey & Co., Hon. M. P. Wilder, Luther Tucker, Esq., Dr. Wendell, and the Cincinnati Horticultural Society two specimens each of the same lot of pears sent you, and at the same time. These pears were picked green and hard, and packed in buckwheat chaff, and forwarded by express from Pennsylvania to us. When they arrived, unfortunately, the chaff imparted to them quite a musty taste, and they were by no means a true test. Our friend also apologies for the size being small, as the tree had a very heavy crop on it. I give you short extracts below from some of those to whom we have sent specimens; and as we have characterized it not only the largest but best pear ripening in the month of August, and nearly equal to our best in flavor, you can at once judge how our views compare with theirs.
"We make the following extract from a letter from Messrs. Hovey & Co., of Boston: 'Dr. Brinckle had given us some information about the Hosenschenk, and we supposed it might be a good pear, but we are happy now to have good evidence that it is decidedly an acquisition to our early kinds. Those you have sent, undoubtedly, are not fair samples, but they show it has a very melting and juicy flesh, and only lacking more flavor to give it a rank among the best pears we possess. We have made a cut of it, and shall be pleased to learn its full history, etc.'
"The following is an extract from the letter of Hon. M. P. Wilder: 'I received with pleasure the specimens of the Hosenschenk Pear. I have heard something of this fruit, but was not aware of its being so early, or so handsome and large. The flesh is very tender, juicy, and melting; the flavor mild and pleasant; and were it a little higher and more specific, this variety would, without detriment, compare with our favorite Bartlett. Prom the specimens sent, I should judge that it would be a valuable early market pear. Please send me five of the best trees you can spare.'
" We have a letter from Dr. Wabdkr, of Cincinnati, in which he says that Dr. MoshER, President of their society, spoke to him in high terms of this pear. The Doctor was absent from Cincinnati, but he will no doubt give the opinion of the committee".
Thx Pulsifer Pear, - We are indebted to Smiley Shepherd, Esq., of Hennepin, 111., for specimens of this native Illinois variety. After being packed for about ten days, they reached us on the 10th of August in tolerable condition. We are inclined to class this pear in quality and size with the Bloodgood; and as it is described as being very hardy and productive, it will undoubtedly prove valuable, especially in the West. Mr. Shepherd gave us the following account and description of this fruit in 1850, published at that time in the Genesee Farmer:
"In the spring of 1848, Dr. John Pulsixeb, of.
Hennepin, planted in his garden a pear seed, (kind unknown,) which sprung up, grew, and the present season bore a crop of fruit of great merit in different respects. Growth of tree - upright and vigorous. Shoots - dark olive. Buds - round, full, and prominent. Leaves - dark green, ovate, reflexed. Size of fruit - hardly medium. Shape - pyriform. Stem - short and curved. Calyx - small, open, set in a shallow depression. Skin - dull golden yellow, covered with an open network of slight russet. Flesh - white, melting, juicy, sweet, and delicious - much like, but superior to, Louise Bonne de Jeney. The time of ripening, the present backward season, was the first half of Aug".
Mr. Shepherd says now: "The experience of two years more has but confirmed us in this opinion of its superior merit - first, for early and prolific bearing; second, for high and excellent flavor; and third, for hardiness and vigor of growth." We commend this pear for trial in other sections of the country.