Belle View Nursery and Nolan's Botanic Garden were located on the south side of Brown (now 34th St) between Telegraph and Grove St. (now MLK, Jr. Way). They were owned by Stephen Nolan. The nursery is generally described as on Telegraph, opposite the Pacific Female College. NB: the name is spelled Bellevue Nursery in some sources.
Nolan began putting the collection together in 1860, and developed it over the course of nine years. The gardens were open to the public free of charge, and Nolan answered visitors questions regarding the trees and plants on display.
The gardens were the largest collection of native and foreign trees, shrubs, plants and bulbous roots on the Pacific Coast. On display were California conifer, along with many plants indigenous to California. The gardens also hosted an extensive collection of Australian and New Zealand trees and shrubs, which flowered during the Bay Area winter. Mexico, Chile, Peru, the West Indies and other parts of the world were also represented in a vast collection of plants. Visitors from around the country came to see trees and plants from around California.
Belle View Nursery
A 1869 advertisement for the Belle View Nursery was as follows:
Belle View Nursery
Contains the largest Botanical Collection of
TREES, SHRUBS, PLANTS, AND BULBOUS ROOTS,
On the Pacific Coast.
Specimen Trees planted out in the grounds as samples to aid purchasers in their selection.
"We raise our own trees in quantity, and to those planting largely, can sell at wholesale rates.
We are constantly receiving all the best novelties in the plant line, as they come out, and can furnish plants at same rates as sold in the States.
Our collection of Bulbs is unrivaled, and we invite the Public to come and see them in bloom during Spring and Summer, and judge for themselves.
"We have constantly on hand a large stock of trees and shrubs, in pots and boxes, for planting any time through the year.
"We employ no agents; business men can thus buy from first hands.
Good gardeners recommended to lay out grounds and attend to gardens when required.
S. Nolan, Proprietor.
By 1887, the tract was being sold. 2
According to a 1965 Knave column, many of the trees and plants surrounding the state capitol in Sacramento came from Nolan's nursery. 4 Nolan also donated a duplicate of everything grown in his nursery to the University of California in the early 1870s. 5 Nolan is also said to be one of the first people to import eucalyptus to California, 6 though he was not the first.
Links and References
- Photos of the Bell View Nursery OMCA
- Dutton & Tuttle ad Oakland Tribune August 23, 1887
- auction ad Oakland Tribune December 7, 1874
- Oakland Always A Garden Paradise The Knave Oakland Tribune May 2, 1965 (p2)
- The California Teacher Volume 10, 1872-1873
- Eucalypts Cultivated in the United States by Alfred James McClatchie, Bureau of Forestry, Bulletin No. 35, 1902
- Reports of the Horticultural Committee of the American Pomological Society California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences October 6, 1870
- Erodium cicutarium collected at Nolan's Garden Brown University Herbarium
- Nolan's Garden, Oakland California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences June 18, 1874 (extensive descriptions)