The Jewell Nursery was started in Lake City, Minnesota in 1868 by Civil War veteran/surgeon Dr. Phineas Jewell and Joseph Merritt Underwood. It began with 10 acres and grew to 1,500 acres and was one of the largest nurseries in the USA. It was operational for more than 130 years.
It developed many varieties of apples, plums, and small fruits that are hardy in the upper Midwest. In the early years the nursery sold many fruit trees and plants. It produced a million new plants a year in its extensive greenhouse.
Jim shared how many of the young boys and teenagers in Lake City worked for 35 cents an hour and were able to save their money and buy the best bike at Coast to Coast by mid-summer. The work was hot, dirty and challenging at times as the work was at ground level so being of short stature was a big benefit.
The green house was where the woman worked planting seeds, caring for the new plants until they were planted outside. The nursery provided lots of jobs for adults as well as youth in Lake City for many years. All the operations at the nursery required a large work force. Eventually the nursery could not meet its labor needs and eventually ceased business. 25
The WLP group will meet again on Wednesday, July 21, for a walk in Frontenac State Park. Weather permitting the group will walk to the edge of Rattle Snake Bluff over looking Wacouta. Walkers should meet behind the Frontenac gas station at 6:30 to carpool to the park. Questions contact Patty Svien, 345-4383.