History of Fruit Growing in the Pacific Northwest
Henderson Luelling and Seth Lewelling

 

 

In 1847, Henderson Luelling brought more than 700 one year old grafted fruit trees from Iowa to Oregon by ox-team along with his wife and 8 children. He set out a nursery in the spring of 1848 near Milwaukie which became the source of fruit trees for many homestead orchards in the Oregon Territory. His brothers John (from Iowa) and Seth (from Indiana) arrived in Oregon in 1850 by way of the California gold fields. Henderson Luelling's "traveling nursery" included the following fruit cultivars:

Henderson Luelling

Apples

  • Baldwin
  • Bellflower (Yellow Bellflower)
  • Blue Pearmain
  • Early Harvest
  • Gloria Mundi
  • Golden Russet
  • Gravenstein
  • King (Tompkins King)
  • Newtown
  • Northern Spy
  • Rambo
  • Red Astrachan
  • Red Cheek Pippin (Monmouth)
  • Rhode Island Greening
  • Seek-no-further (Westfield Seek-no-further)
  • Spitzenburg (Esopus Spitzenburg)
  • White Winter Pearmain
  • Winesap

Pears

  • Bartlett (Williams' Bon Chrétien)
  • Clapp Favorite
  • Early Butter (Craig)
  • Fall Butter (White Doyenné)
  • Pound
  • Seckel
  • Vicar of Winkfield (Curé)
  • Winter Nelis

Cherries

  • May Duke
  • Black Bigarreau
  • Kentish
  • Royal Anne (Napoleon Bigarreau)
  • Black Tartarian
  • Early Purple Guigne

Peaches

  • Early Crawford
  • Late Crawford
  • Golden Cling

 

Leuelling also carried with him quince, black walnut, shell-bark hickory, grape, currant and gooseberry plants.

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Original 'Black Republican' Cherry Tree
Milwaukie, Oregon 1904

 

In the 1860's, Seth Lewelling (Henderson's Brother) introduced the 'Black Republican' and 'Bing' cherries, the latter named for the foreman of his Chinese work crew. A neighbor and former employee, J.H. Lambert, introduced the 'Lambert' cherry in 1876. Seth Lewelling also originated the 'Lincoln' cherry, the 'Wilamette' cherry, the 'Lewelling' grape, the 'Golden' prune, the 'Sweet Alice' apple and the 'Lewelling' almond.

References:

  • Charles H. Carey. 1922. History of Oregon. The Pioneer Historical Publishing Co., Chicago.
  • Thomas C. McClintock. 1967. Henderson Luelling, Seth Lewelling, and the birth of the Pacific Coast fruit industry. Oregon Historical Quarterly (June 1967) 68(2):153-174.

More about Henderson Luelling
More about Seth Lewelling
Luellings Begin Oregon's Sweet Cherry Industry
Luelling House in Iowa and theUnderground Railroad

 

 

Joseph Postman
National Clonal Germplasm Repository - Corvallis
16 December 2002