Banquet Piece, Pieter Claez

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Pioneer Horticultural Society, 1853, Santa Clara Valley

The meeting of the Pioneer Horticultural Society was on August 13, 1853 under a large live-oak, belonging to L. Prevost. Here is an account from The History of Santa Clara County (1881):

"The following interesting history of this association, from the pen of Colonel Younger, is extracted from The Pioneer of June 8, 1878:  "This society has assumed such proportions in her real estate, and in her exhibitions in the various departments, as to challenge the admiration of the citizens of the Pacific coast. Her history of small beginnings, the energy of her pioneers to organize at once, to experiment and develop the resources of this, then a new and undeveloped country, ought to be of interest to those citizens who have located recently in the valley, under more favorable circumstances. The pioneer meeting which was the germ of this society, was held August 13, 1853, under a large live-oak, in what is now known as the Live-oak Park, then belonging to L. Prevost. The meeting was composed of William Daniels, L. Prevost, L. Pillia, J. R. Bontemps, B. S. Fox, and E.W. Case. It was held for the purpose of organizing the Pioneer Horticultural Society, which they did. The subsequent meetings were held at the old City Hall. This little band was strengthened by such men as Joseph Aram, J. Q. A. Ballou, R. G. Moody, Judge D. Devine, L. A. Gould, Thomas Fallon, John Lewelling of Alameda county, and some others. During the balance of this year and the year 1854, they met once a month; brought in their fruits and flowers for exhibition, to compare and discuss the merits, and determine what fruits were best adapted to the valley. This was often most interesting and instructive. All were invited to attend, and many were enticed to those meetings to see the development of the fruit-growing capacity of the valley. Many ladies attended and were richly rewarded, for after witnessing the display of fruits and flowers, at the conclusion these were divided among them. The old pioneers knew how to be gallant to the ladies! These exhibitions soon excited the agriculturists to action. We shall soon see a union of these two interests, and follow them in their tedious states to the formation of this society, under an Act of the Legislature in 1859."

The History of Santa Clara County (1881) reports on the origins of the Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Society.

The first fairgrounds were described in the p. 504
Location of fairgrounds, 1876
San Jose, 1st Ward,
Thompson and West
Georeferenced on David Rumsey

History of Santa Clara County, California
Meeting of Pioneer Horticulturists, 1892
History of Santa Clara County


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