|From Hutching's California Magazine,|
November, 1856, volume 1, no. V
"It must ever be a source of astonishment and gratification to Californians, that the prolific production of our soil is such as almost to challenge the world. Who could ever dream that in a country comparatively new, so much perfection has already been attained in the culture and growth of fruits, flowers and vegetables, as to give us, in a few brief years, advantages that are as yet unpossessed by older States.
Where, but in California, for instance, has there ever grown a pear of such proportions as that on an opposite page ?—its natural size, from a photograph taken by Mr. Garden, of Bradley's Daguerrean Gallery, near our office, and kindly loaned us for the purpose by Mrs. E. J. Weaver, of the Washington Market—weighing, as it does, two pounds twelve ounces avoirdupois, and is one of five, all nearly as large, from a very young tree in the orchard of Mr. Beard, Mission of San Jose; and gathered, too, before they were ripe, to be exhibited at the State Fair at San Jose, and were the largest offered for exhibition. Next month we shall find room for a more extended notice of some of the vegetable wonders that we have seen —the products of California soil."
I think Charles Shinn wrote about an even larger pear of E.L. Beard's.