The earliest records of the Bloodgood name associated with nurseries relate to 1798 in Flushing (now Queens) New York. Flushing was religiously tolerant and became predominately Quaker with a large African population. French Huguenots immigrated to the area in the18th century, bringing knowledge of horticulture with them. Flushing became known for its various nurseries. Large farms began to grow plants commercially. Among the names recorded were Prince, Bloodgood (1798), Higgins, Kimbers and Parsons families. Members of the King and Murray families purchased the Bloodgood Nursery in the 1830’s and moved it to land next to their Kingsland estate.
Although rumored that Benjamin Franklin visited and swapped seeds with the Bloodgood Nurseries, no proof of this visit was found. President George Washington recorded in his diary a visit to the Prince Nurseries on October 10, 1789. He was not impressed, but did purchase fruit from the trees. In the same article in Newsday.com about the history of Flushing, there is a mention of Bloodgood Nursery being there in 1838.
In the History of Long Island, the following quote was found. “The old Bloodgood nursery now owned and conducted by Wilcomb and King, has long been in high reputation, and is only inferior in quantity and variety to the Linnaean Garden.” John Warner Willcomb, who was born in Massachusetts in 1793 and moved to Flushing “lost the business by defalcation of his New York agent.”
We are unable to maintain the lineage of Bloodgood Nursery until mention of a more current name of Keene and Foulk. They were owners of Bloodgood Nursery of Flushing, as shown in a report of Entomologists in 1894 regarding the San Jose Scale. Apparently Bloodgood nursery stock had this scale infestation and was forced to destroy much of their stock as a result.
The company became became Foulk and Flemmer and moved to Flemington, New Jersey.
Ted Foulk, a graduate of Princeton in 1946, moved the business to Doylestown, Pa. after graduation and Flemmer stayed in New Jersey.
Al Edling, who had received a degree in horticulture from Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, took over the Doylestown business and moved it to Horsham as Bloodgood Nursery. Mr Edling was a long-time HPHA member who donated fruit trees and other plants to HPHA, and with his wife, Eleanor, hosted our Covered Dish Supper several years ago. He ran Bloodgood Nursery for 37 years.
We are sad to report the passing of
Peter J. Choate – Executive Director of HPHA