Fruit Growers' Association celebrates 80th birthday
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FRUIT GROWERS' ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES 80TH BIRTHDAY
Organization Held First Meeting in Hamilton in the Year 1859—Advancement in Industry Noteworthy
(By P. W. Hodgetts, Director, Fruit Branch, Ontario Department of Agriculture)
A brief sketch, such as this must be of the Fruit Growers' Association of Ontario, would not be complete without a few words as to the conditions existing both prior to and at the time of its organization. Records are very meagre, publications few, and it is through letters, an occasional diary or recollections of early settlers passed on to their families, that we get a glimpse at fruit growing in the early days.
A diary kept by James Durham or Dunham, records that on March 29, 1850, he planted peach trees to replace an orchard of 500 trees planted by his father about 1814. This was supposed to be the first orchard of any extent in Niagara township and perhaps the most interesting part is that the orchard was located on the property of H. St. C. Fisher, of Queenston, still after 125 years one of the most noted peach growing farms in the Niagara district.
In 1820, Dennis Woolverton sold peaches on the Hamilton market from his farm at Grimsby, but his father was ahead of him as a fruit grower. C. E. Woolverton gives an interesting account of that period: "About 1796 one John Smith sold Jonathan Woolverton, my grandfather, 200 acres of land for £40 York currency, and the said Smith gave five natural apple trees to bind the bargain." As far as our records reveal, this is the earliest mention of fruit growing in the now famous Niagara, peninsula. English Grafts
- P. W. Hodgetts, Author
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- Newspaper clipping with article about 80th anniversary of Fruit Growers' Association of Ontario (founded in Hamilton in 1859) written by P. W. Hodgetts, Director, Fruit Branch, Ontario Department of Agriculture.
One piece measuring 19 x 10 cm. Undated. On page 20 of unknown publication.
- From Armstrong family collection.
- p. 20
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