I am pleased to note that the Endicott Pear Tree, in my town of Danvers, Massachusetts, is the oldest living cultivated fruit tree in North America. This tree is about 380+ year old. Awesome indeed!
The Endicott Pear tree is a European Pear (Pyrus communis) tree, and it was, according to historic reports by William Bentley, planted in Danvers around 1630 by John Endecott—the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and one of the Colony’s earliest settlers. The historic reports also show that the tree was brought to America from England on the Arbella between 1628 to 1630.
The Endicott Pear Tree, the oldest living cultivated fruit tree in North America – located in Danvers, Massachusetts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Portrait of the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, John Endecott. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are many notes (starting in 1800), about the Endicott Pear Tree and its fruits, in the diary of Rev. William Bentley, who had visited the Endecott estate many a times. It’s worthwhile to note that the Endicott Estate was known as Collins Farm at that time, although it was owned by Capt. John Endicott.
Here is an interesting historic description of the Endicott Pear Tree by James Raymond Simmons, author of The Historic Trees of Massachusetts, 94 years ago, in 1919.:
“Soil has gradually collected about the trunk until the two main branches appear to rise from the ground as separate trees. They evidently join under a heavy covering of sod. Surrounding them is a fence which acts as an effective protection. When the author photographed the tree it was covered in green fruit. It may be seen in a field near Endicott street at Davensport, and is worth turning aside to behold, for it is one of the most quaint and strangely impressive of all the historic trees.”
— James Raymond Simmons,
The Historic Trees of Massachusetts (1919).
Portrait of Massachusetts Colonial Governor John Endecott (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As per the history of America, Arbella
was the flagship of the Winthrop Fleet
on which, between April 8 and June 12, 1630, Governor John Winthrop
, other members of the Company and Puritan
emigrants transported themselves and the Charter of the Massachusetts Bay Company
, thereby giving legal birth to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
. Thus the Endicott Pear Tree, transported on Arbella, is not only the oldest fruit tree in America, but also the great historic tree that is closely associated with the history of Massachusetts and our great nation, United States of America
The Arbella. Governor Winthrop’s Flagship. Salem, Massachusetts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Official seal of Danvers, Massachusetts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Endicott Pear Tree surely holds a special place in the hearts of Danversites – including yours truly. I hope that our Readers & Followers would find this information as interesting as I do.
Make a great day!
Danvers, Massachusetts, Monday Morning, August 19, 2013.
Historic Map of Danvers, Massachusetts. 19th Century. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Danvers Town, North Shore of Massachusetts, USA.
Entering Danvers. My Town in the North Shore of Massachusetts.