Thursday, April 17, 2014

Old advertising card for Battlefield Nurseries in Gettysburg

This undated advertising card, which is about the size of the postcard, is for Battlefield Nurseries, a business that was launched in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, more than a century ago. According to the card:

  • The proprietors were C.A. Stoner and J.E. Stoner.
  • The office was located at 42-44 West High Street.1
  • The business offered "healthy and hardy fruits and ornamental trees, shrubs, vines, roses, etc."
  • Special attention would be given to orchard planters and those designing lawns and parks.

Here are some historical tidbits I discovered, regarding Battlefield Nurseries:

  • Battlefield Nurseries had 6½ acres in Gettysburg, according to the eighth annual report of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for 1902. That made it the fifth-largest nursery in Adams County, behind only C.L. Longsdorf in Floradale, W.E. Grove in York Springs, O.P. House in Bendersville, and A.S. Wright in Bendersville.
  • Two related items: "The firm of C.A. & J.E. Stoner, trading under the name of The Battlefield Nurseries was dissolved May 17th, 1905, and the business of the Battlefield Nurseries at Gettysburg will hereafter be conducted by C.A. Stoner, who has become sole proprietor of said Battlefield Nurseries." ... "I take pleasure in announcing that I was formerly a member of the firm composed of C.A. & J.E. Stoner trading as 'The Battlefield Nurseries' at Gettysburg, Pa., and I now own the Westminster Nursery at Westminster, Maryland. I have disposed of my half interest in the title 'Battlefield Nurseries' to C.A. Stoner and I now remain owner of the undividen one-half interest in the growing nursery stock known as the Battlefield Nurseries at the time of my retirement therefrom May 17, 1905, and will also supply my trade therefrom. J.E. Stoner." (The National Nurseryman, Volume 13)

So we know that the card was printed prior to May 1905, when the Stoners split up as business partners in Gettysburg. That is reinforced by the back of the card, which contains more than a dozen testimonials from Battlefield Nurseries customers. Here are some of them:

  • "Frederick, Md., Nov. 17, 1902. We received the pear trees O.K. and they are fine. C.E. KLEIN."
  • "Franklintown, Pa., April 13, 1903. It is with pleasure that I wish to inform yon [sic] about the trees that I bought of you this spring. I am very well pleased with them and I find that every person in the whole neighborhood that secured trees are pleased. I have been talking with a great many about buying trees for fall planting and they all intend to plant Battlefield Nurseries trees. MILTON HOFFMAN."
  • "East Berlin, Pa., April 4, 1903. In looking over the nursery stock received from you I am much pleased. C.B. KAUFFMAN."
  • "New Germantown, Pa., April 11, 1903. Trees at hand in good shape and well pleased. S.A. GEETSHALL"
  • "Barnitz Sta., Pa., March 30, 1903. Trees received O.K. J. WARREN PEFFER."
  • "Monaghan, Pa., April 11, 1903. Would you please send me one more shade tree — Carolina Poplar! They are fine and I am well pleased with them. JOHN BURGARD."

1. In Gettysburg, 42-44 West High Street is now the site of a multi-family home, according to Trulia.

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