Storrs & Harrison Nursery

by Mark Gilson The nursery industry in Lake County began in 1854 with the vision and hard work of Jesse Storrs. 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, … Read more

The Ridges of Eastern Lake County

by Mark Gilson The Historic Nursery Region of Lake County is three to seven miles deep and about twenty miles long, extending from Mentor to Madison. Once covered by glacial lakes there are three sand/gravel ridges that define the ancient shorelines. North Ridge sits ten to twenty feet above the ‘lake plain’ that runs a … Read more

Paul Otto

by Mark Gilson This was written by Paul in the early 1980’s as a background piece for a Perry High School reunion. Paul’s friendship with the Losely family in the early 1950s prompted them to move from Bainbridge to Perry, not far from Paul’s nursery on Lane Road. Paul has been gone for over twenty … Read more

Nursery Field Day Reflections

by Mark Gilson Since its inception in 1928, the nursery association of Lake County has featured major industry events to promote local operations, new plant introductions and technological innovations. In the organization’s first year the American Nurseryman’s Association traveled by train and by car from their annual convention in Cleveland to the heart of Lake … Read more

Early Agriculture and Settlement in Northeast Ohio

by Mark Gilson Agriculture arrived in Ohio long before European settlement. By the time of the Beaver Wars around 1650, the Iroquois Confederacy, comprised of five Native American nations at the time, pushed into Ohio Country between the Ohio River and the Great Lakes, driving out the Erie Indians (sometimes referred to as ‘the Cat … Read more

Call’s Nursery

by George Haskell The S.W. Call Nursery was founded by Solon W. Call in 1877. When his father, Amherst Call was 11 years old the entire family moved from Vermont to Ohio. The year was 1815, and at that time Ohio was part of the new frontier, and much of it heavily forested. Amherst worked … Read more

Wayside Gardens – The Complete History

by George Haskell The year was 1916, and eighteen year old Elmer Schultz was about to graduate from Harvey High School in Painesville, Ohio. Elmer had grown up in Mentor, which was still a small village with many farms and nurseries, and too small to support its own high school. For the last four years … Read more

Kohankie Generations

by Mark Gilson The Kohankie nursery dynasty began in 1856 when Henry and Julius, sons of a Prussian immigrant, came to Lake County. Of seven brothers in that family, five would become horticulturists. Henry worked at Storrs & Harrison Nursery for 25 years, operating their cold-storage-cellars during the 1890s. In 1900 he founded Euclid Avenue Nursery in East Cleveland with William Metcalf, … Read more