Fort Vancouver
Cultural Landscape Report
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1825-1828 "useful seeds" from David Douglas— 3 packets sent during 1826-28. Horticultural Society of London
1827 garden seeds
apple seeds (probable date)
Gordon, Forsythe & Co.
Lt. Aemilius Simpson-London. The seeds were sown in "little boxes" and placed under glass in the store (warehouse).
1828 "a fine garden, some small trees & vines"
1826-29 Deptford Onion, vetch, early white turnip, Dutch turnip, La Filame Turnip, Broad beans, Early York Cabbage, Green Tarvy Cabbage, Cos Lettuce, Onion underground, Lwent (?vent) Marjoram, Blue Pease, Hopper peas, Radish-black, Radish Turnip, Swedish Turnip, Yellow Turnip, carrots, parsnip, Mustard, Olrefry, Drum or Dream Cabbage, Salmon Radish, Early Yellow Storm Turnip, White Storm Turnip, Beet-red, Red Cabbage, celery, cucumber, leeks, Thyme, Green Cos Lettuce, White Lettuce, Melon, Welch Onion, Good Parsley, Early White Pease, Early Mumonfort?, Green Savory Cabbage, Chulter? Pease, Chives, toled or soled or loled ? Celery, Cress, shed Marjoram, pot marjoram, Mansilly (?), Thobrugh (?) onion, curled parsley. From Gordon & Forsythe Co. for York Factory. Indents for Columbia Dept. did not appear until 1831, however, it is possible some seeds were sent overland to the Columbia Dept. from the York shipments.
1829 garden seeds

3 peach trees
Gordon, Forsythe & Co.

Islands of San Juan Fernandez off the coast of Chile
1830 garden seeds Gordon, Forsythe & Co.
1831 garden seeds

1/2 lb. each-Early Frame Cucumbers; broccoli, white broccoli, Curled Parsley, 1 lb. each—Green Cos Lettuce, Curly Kale, Welch Onion, Mustard; 2 lbs. Leek; 10 lbs. Deptford Onions; 4 lbs. Strasburgh Onion; 1 gross each—Early Green Pease, Early White Pease; 3 lbs. Salmon Radish; 2 lbs. Turnip Radish; 10 lbs. each-Early White Turnip, Early Yellow Turnip; Dutch Turnip; 1 lb. Lapland Turnip; 6 lbs. Yellow Swedish Turnip; 1 bushel each- Flax, Hemp, Timothy Grass, Early Angus oats, Early potatoes, Winter Wheat; 2 bushels Rye Grass; 6 lbs. each White & Red Clover;
Gordon, Forsythe & Co.

London purchased these from Gordon, Forsythe & Co. Purple for shipment directly to the Columbia Dept.
(not all seeds & quantities would have been used at Fort Vancouver-just shipped to the fort and divided among other forts).
1832 apples, peaches, grapes, vegetables (George Allan) -Plants producing in 1832 so probably planted bet. 1829-32
1833 carrots, strawberries, turnips, apples, peaches, melons, culinary vegetables (Tolmie, N. Wyeth, John Ball)

dahlia seeds under frames, acacia seeds, "drinking' calabash (gourd)
Carrot, cabbages, turnips growing over the winter cabbages, of 1832-33. Melons sown under a long range of frames.

acacia — Oahu dahlia & calabash (Tolmie)
1834 culinary vegetables, apples, peaches, grapes, pears, melons—musk & water, pumpkins, squashes, potatoes, carrots, parsnips (J.K. Townsend, Jason Lee, Cyrus Shepherd)

fruit, flowers, & vegetables
Wyeth on Sauvie Island requested from Hawaii, cuttings of roots of grapes, figs, sweet potatoes, sugar cane— no record of receiving them.
1835 "esculent vegetables, ornamental plants & flowers", grapes strawberries, peaches, "various tropical fruits — figs, oranges & lemons" (Rev. Samuel Parker) "grow with about the same care as they would require in the latitude of Philadelphia"
1836 melons, apples, grapes, cherries, peaches, strawberries, plums, peas cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, beets, cabbages, figs, citrons, oranges, quinces, lemons, pomegranates, cotton plants (Narcissa Whitman, Henry Spalding)
1837 "every variety of vegitables" peas, currants, gooseberries, grapes, "roses in bloom and many other pretty flowers" (Susan Downing Shepherd)
1838 apples, melons, chickweed, gooseberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, currants, potatoes, garden peas (George Roberts, William Tolmie) G. Roberts also observed—maybe associated with the garden— holly leaved barberry (Oregon grape), honeysuckle, woodbine, yarrow & nettle
1839 beets, cabbage, turnips, carrots, potatoes (Thomas Farnham) Capt. E. Belcher noted: "Garden produce peas, apples, plums, peaches, strawberries, raspberries and "general kitchen stuff and potatoes thrive and are plentiful". This may be referring to Willamette Valley.

1838 the Company's Secretary wrote to the Duke of Devonshire at Chiswick: "The Bearer William Bruce is going out in the company's vessel with the Plants &c under his charge that Mr. Joseph Paxton has so kindly forwarded for the use of the establishment at Fort Vancouver." The knowledge of this reference, to date, is that a number of fruit trees from Chiswick were brought out "under glass" by W. Bruce in Sept. 1839.
1840 "gigantic Umpqua pine" sugar pine—Pinus lambertiana—discovered by David Douglas on Umpqua River-1826, sowed in garden by W. Tolmie to test soundness of seeds sent to George Simpson in 1840.
1841 gooseberries, strawberries, nectarine, grapes, musk & water melons, pears, currants, apples, peaches, "a large variety of vegetables", (William Brackenridge)

roses (James Douglas)

Pyrus malus, apple; Pyrus communis, pear; Vitis vinifera, European grape; Amygdalus persica, peach; Armeniaca vulgaris, apricot; Prunus domestica, European plum; Prunus cerasus, European or common garden cherry; Fragaria—several imported varieties of strawberry; Ribes rubrum, garden currant; Ribes grossularia, European or common gooseberry; Cucumis melo, musk melon; Cucurbita melopepo, squash; Pisum sativum, garden pea; Phaselous, common kidney bean; Solanum melongena, egg plant or aubergine; Beta vulgaris, beet; Apium dulce, celery; Petroselinum sativum, parsley; Allium cepa, onion; and all the other common vegetables.

grapes—"cultivation has been neglected in last years".

Probably what is now known as the "Mission Rose" according to John Minto who noted: ". . . I found left in the Original M.E. (Methodist)] mission Garden . . . the rose bush of which I diseminated cuttings far and wide as the Old Mission Rose. I assume it was first introduced at Fort Vancouver. As I feel sure it is one of the varieties in cultivation in North Britain by flower fancying Miners as also was the Old Moss Ross."

Listed by Charles Pickering, who also noted: "a well conducted garden....
The original packages of seeds were brought, some by sea, but chiefly overland from Montreal"

Charles Wilkes: ". . .Billy Bruce. . . made us his debtor, by sending us. . . fine fruit and vegetables . . . I have endeavored to repay him, by sending him seeds . . ."
—No evidence to date of Bruce receiving them.

Charles Wilkes: ". . . all his [W. Bruce] success here continues to be compared with Chiswick, which he endeavors to surpass; this is alike creditable to both."

George Emmons & his riding party, were provided lemonade by Company servants.
William Tolmie on leave in England asks permission "to take for the Vancouver Garden a box 4 feet 2 containing grafts of choice Peach, Apricot, Pear, Plum, and Cherry trees prepared for me by a botanical friend in Glasgow."
No evidence, to date, of their arrival.
1844 gooseberries, currants, apples, melons (Thomas Lowe) Sept. fire burns northwest corner of garden fence
1845 "peaches, pears, & apples. . . the garden abounds with these fruits, as well as with melons, grapes, etc." potatoes, green peas (Thomas Lowe)
1846 "fresh strawberries brought in", currants, gooseberries, apples, peas (Thomas Lowe)

garden seeds
Gordon, Thompson & Co.

Garden reduced in size-west boundary fence now flush with west wall of stockade
General Persifor F. Smith, U.S. army noted: "Fort Vancouver farms "in good cultivations. The largest potatoes, turnips, onions, beets, & radishes, I have ever seen".
—Not necessarily referring to Fort Vancouver garden.
Ogden leased three-quarters of the garden.
1854 garden seeds

80 apple trees
Gordon, Thompson & Co.

Recorded on 1854 list of Co.'s improvements, valued at $20 each. It appears most of these were in the garden not the orchard.
Army recruits devastate orchard & garden.
1860 garden seeds Gordon, Thompson & Co.
Boundary Commission photo shows fruit trees in the garden, east of the summer house.

The garden or "orchard" as it was called by 1860, was reduced to four acres.

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Last Updated: 27-Oct-2003