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The Storrs & Harrison Co.
'The Storrs & Harrison Co.'  photo
Photo courtesy of odinthor
  Listing last updated on 17 Jul 2024.
Painesville, Ohio
United States
See also under Breeders.
Storrs & Harrison Co. nursery in Painesville, Ohio was established 1854 by Jesse Storrs (April 4, 1804 Oxford NH  - March 21, 1882 Painesville OH). James J. Harrison (August 20, 1829 - June 11, 1912 Painesville OH) joined as a partner in 1858. The founders were succeeded by their sons Willis P. Storrs (January 19, 1840 Virgil NY - March 5, 1918 Painesville OH), William G. Storrs (January 19, 1840 Virgil NY - October 22, 1901 Painesville OH) and Willard C. Harrison (May 9, 1869 - April 14, 1944 Painesville OH). The nursery existed at least until 1946.
Life dates from Find a Grave and Lake County Genealogical Society Evergreen Cemetery Insciptions.

[From The American Garden, 1891, Vol. 12, p. 37-38:] The nurseries which we have taken for the subject of this sketch have been built up by thirty-five years of unceasing care and labor on the part of the senior members — Messrs. Storrs and Harrison — of the corporation which bears their name, at Painesville, Ohio. From a very modest beginning, the establishment has grown to the extent that it requires now some seven hundred acres of land to accommodate its various branches. Most of this is closely covered with great " blocks " of trees, shrubs, fruit, plants, etc. , embracing almost every variety of shade and ornamental trees, fruit trees and plants which long experience has taught may be called for by patrons....A rose block of six acres, containing a hundred thousand plants, was a noticeable feature, although my visit was so late that but slight bloom remained upon them. Earlier in the season, I was assured, they would have presented a sight worth coming a long way to see. A fact worth noting is the condition of the soil in which these roses were propagated. It is heavily enriched every year with a good dressing of composted stable manure, and after every second crop is taken off it is sub-soiled to the depth of eighteen inches. Prior to being set to roses, it had yielded three tons of hay per acre.

[From an advertisement in the American Rose Annual 1926, p. xiv:] The Storrs & Harrison Co., Painesville, Ohio, where there are acres and acres of Roses in full bloom... A sight never to be forgotten...

[From an advertisement in the American Rose Annual 1927, p. xvi:] The Storrs & Harrison Co., Painesville, Ohio... 'Betty Uprichard', 'Edel', 'Elvira Aramayo', 'Mme. Alexandre Dreux', 'Mrs. Prentiss Nichols', 'Templar'... Established 73 years...

[From Grower Talks, 1946, p. 1:] Storrs and Harrison is in bankruptcy . Whether this is due to lack of enuf close , hard management in recent years , is not easy to say . But at some stage in its life this break from the enterprising spirit of its past must have ...

[From Nursery Management: Administration and Culture, by Hatold Davidson et al., 1994, p. 5:] The famous nursery production area of Lake County, Ohio, had its initial impetus in 1853, when Jesse Storrs , a farmer - nurseryman from Cortland , New York , located on 80 acres of farm land near the village of Painsville . In 1858 Storrs offered a partnership to J. J. Harrison , a skilled propagator , because in his opinion there was not room for two nurseries in the county. [p. 34:] In 1854 Jesse Storrs purchased a small farm in Lake County and soon founded the nursery firm of Storrs and Harrison...
[From Storrs and Harrison Lake County Nursery History, by Mark Gilson, March 12, 2014 on the Lake County Blog:] "The nursery industry in Lake County began in 1854 with the arrival of Jesse Storrs and his three sons. The railways were constructed the year before and he believed that access to transportation and the beneficial climate near Lake Erie made Painesville an excellent site to begin his new enterprise. An English Immigrant, JJ Harrison, arrived some years before and worked with his father clearing trees from the Mentor Marsh for use as railroad ties. By 1858 Harrison was beginning his own nursery and he decided, along with Jesse Storrs, that Lake County was not big enough for two nurseries. Within several decades, the resulting partnership, Storrs & Harrison Nursery, became the largest nursery in the world .
All three sons of Jesse Storrs fought in the Civil War but only two returned to the business. Early crops included fruit trees and berries and an increasing number of ornamental shrubs, trees and perennials. A cold winter in 1872 almost put them out of business, as did a financial ‘panic’ the following year. But by the 1880s they were thriving as the largest ‘departmental’ nursery in the world. Their main farm extended from Bacon and Bowhall Roads westward to Fairport Nursery Road and beyond. Barns and other facilities, including the largest barn in Ohio at the time, rose to the South of North Ridge Road, while fields and growing frames extended northward to the Lake Erie Shore. A railway stop at the nursery helped workers commute from Cleveland. Hale Road School originated as the Nursery School for children of nursery workers. The nursery clock chimed the hours for local communities and the thermometer provided official highs and lows. Painesville Post Office expanded to handle the mail-order shipments to a growing country.
One of the Storrs sons perished moving a planting machine near the turn of the century. Other nurseries rose and prospered, often fostered by the Storrs & Harrison operation. By 1940 the operation was slowing down and all properties north of Route 20 were sold to Fasson (now Avery Dennison)."
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