Worcester County Horticultural Society, New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill Collection, 1849-1990

Collection number: MC 371
Size: (27 boxes) (9.00 cu.ft.)

About the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill

The New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill has 171 acres of gardens and orchards and supports over 140,000 visitors per year. It was founded as the Worchester County Horticultural Society in 1842, providing exhibitions and programming throughout the summer. A library was founded by 1851 to support the educational work. In 1986 the organization moved to Tower Hill Farm in Boylston and became the Tower Hill Botanic Gardens, later changing to the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill in 2022.

About the Worcester County Horticultural Society, New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill Collection, 1849-1990

The Worcester County Horticultural Society, New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill Collection consists of 8 cubic feet of historical and contemporary seed catalogs, as well as approximately one cubic foot of pressed flower samples from Switzerland, South Africa, and New England. A related library of several thousand published volumes is also housed at UNH's Special Collections.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], [Folder number], [Box number], Worcester County Horticultural Society, New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill Collection, 1849-1990, MC 371, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Donation of the creating organization, 2022

UNH Special Collections also maintains a collection of several thousand books donated by the New England Botanic Gardens at Tower Hill.

Collection Arrangement

This collection is arranged in two series: Series 1 is seed catalogs dated 1883-1990 and arranged alphabetically by creator; Series 2 is scrapbooks of pressed plants and colored plates dated 1849-1904 and arranged by size.

Collection Contents

Series 1: Seed Catalogs, 1883-1990

(25 boxes)

This series contains the seed and nursery catalogs of organizations across the United States. A full list of names and dates is contained in box 1.

Box 1
Ackerman Nurseries - Blackthorne Gardens, 1909-1986 and undated

Note: This box contains a listing of each catalog in this series.

Box 2
Blanchette Gardens - Bristol Nurseries, Inc, 1888-1896
Box 3
Brittingham Plant Farms - W. Atlee Burpee Co., 1915-1987
Box 4
California Nursry Company - Cherry Hill Nurseries inc., 1885-1989
Box 5
John Lewis Childs, 1893-1897
Box 6
John Lewis Childs, 1900-1987
Box 7
Clapper's - Peter B. Dow and Company, 1890-1986
Box 8
Dreer's - TJ Dwyer & Son, 1902-1987
Box 9
Edelweiss Gardens - Maurice Fuld, 1903-1984 and undated
Box 10
AE Wohlert Garden Nurseries - Joseph Harris Co. Inc., 1896-1989 and undated
Box 11
Alexander Irving Heimlich - Peter Henderson & Co., 1895-1981
Box 12
Herbst Brothers Seedmen Inc. - Johnson Cactus Gardens, 1900-1984 and undated
Box 13
Jones and Scully Inc. - Krider's Nurseries, 1915-1987 and undated
Box 14
AE Kunderd - Lovett's Nursery Inc., 1989-1987 and undated
Box 15
Maloney Bros. & Wells Co. - Merry Gardens, 1885-1984 and undated
Box 16
Heinrich Mette - Musser Forests Inc., 1904-1987 and undated
Box 17
New England Nut Tree Farms - Quality Dutch Bulbs Inc., 1905-1989
Box 18
Rakestraw's Perennial Gardens & Nursery - Roslyn Nursery, 1896-1989 and undated
Box 19
Ross Brothers - Ross Brothers Co., 1906-1938
Box 20
Rowan Wholesale Nurseries - John Scheepers Inc., 1904-1985
Box 21
Seed World - Strahm's Lilies Inc., 1910-1989
Box 22
Sunnyslope Gardens - Will Tillotson's Roses, 1895-1987
Box 23
Charles H. Totty Company - Vermont Bean Seed Co., 1883-1990 and undated
Box 24
James Vick P. Vos & Sons Inc., 1884-1927 and undated
Box 25
Ward Gardens - Zuma Canyon Orchids Inc., xxxx-xxxx

Series 2: Pressed Botanical Samples and Plates, 1849-1904

(2 boxes)

This series contains scrapbooks of pressed plants and colored plates dated 1849-1904 and arranged by size. Oversized items are located at the end of the series.

Box 26
Box 26, Folder 1“Flora Helvetica”, 1889

Ca. 25 pressed flowers from Switzerland. Inscription in case reads “Alpine flowers. Set no. III. Purchased in [no location given] by Mrs. H.M K. Brownell and presented to G. Goading July 15, 1889.”

Box 26, Folder 2American Algae or Marine Plants, 1849

Bound book of algae samples. Inscription reads “Sarah H. Bliss from her brother William Jan. 1st 1849.”

Box 26, Folder 3Stecher Lithograph plates, Undated

Color plates of grapes, stonefruits, apples, and pears bound in leather volume. All plates marked Stecher Lith & Co., Rochester, New York, which published under that name from 1887-1936.

Box 26, Folder 4Apline flowers album, 1871-1872

“Alpine Flowers, Set. No. V. Collected, pressed, and mounted by Mrs. H.M.K. Brownell, in 1871 & 1872. Presented to Gertrude Goading, July 15 [18]89.” Samples pasted into a reused Landers Frary & Clark cutlery viewbook. The company was based in Connecticut.

Box 27
Box 27, Folder 1-4Gillet's Les Hymenomycetes, 1874-1891

Rebound plates of mushrooms. Believed to be from C.C. Gillet’s “Les Hymenomycetes” (Paris: Alencon: Charles Thomas, 1874-1891).

Box 28
Box 28, Folder 1-3Les Hymenomycetes (cont.), 1874-1891
Box 28, Folder 4Botanical specimens from Switzerland1870

Believed to be a copy of J. Brunner’s “Plantes de l'herbier de J. Brunner : comprenant principalement la flore des environs de la Schynigen Platte, Faulhorn, Grimsel & Furca” (place of publication not listed, ca. 1870).

Oversize Box 1
Oversize Box 1, Folder 1South African Wildflowers, 1904

Leatherbound volume of watercolors of South African wildflowers, painted by artist “Kaby” and sold/bound by Darter Bros. & Co., Cape Town. Included correspondence addressed from Darter Bros. to Admiral Chatwick, M.S. Cruiser Brooklyn, Cape Town Docks, 1904.

Oversize Box 1, Folder 2"Herbarium of M.E. Cook," 1894

“Herbarium of M.E. Cook.” Ca. 50 pressed samples collected in western Massachusetts in 1894 by M.E. Cook. Grasses, mosses, ferns, lilies, shrubs, wildflowers.

Oversize Box 2
Oversize Box 2, Folder 1Photograph album depicting ornamental gardens, location unidentified, 1914-1917
Oversize Box 3
Oversize Box 3, Folder 1"Begonia Photographs and Descriptions, John Coulson, Worcester Mass," ca. 1890s

Album of cyanotype photographs of begonias with extensive descriptions.



Manuscripts & Typescripts
Sketches & Illustrations