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The Capital City Nursery existed on the eastern end of the Willamette University campus (running westward from Twelfth Street along State) as early as 1890. A local paper in 1904 extolled the virtues of the Oregon Nursery Company, which they called "one of the leading commercial nurseries of the United States". It shipped nationwide as well as to Canada and Mexico. Luther Burbank had, in fact, chosen it to propagate and introduce his Maynard plum, a new variety known for its size and storage qualities.

The Willow Lake Nursery on Windsor Island Road in Keizer was established in the 1970's on what had been simply the Blake family farm. William and Ida Blake originally came from Chester, England, settling in southern California. They came to the Willamette Valley as part of a group in 1906. Their first home was in Turner, south of Salem, but in 1907 they acquired 150 acres on the Willamette River in the Keizer area. The farm had access to the road leading to Spong's Landing on the Willamette River. They soon built a log house and began an orchard, with 85 acres of walnuts, and over the years the family acquired more acreage and planted berry fields and filbert orchards. A large apple, known as the Blake apple, was developed and was a frequent winner at the State Fair in its class. In addition to managing their orchards the Blakes began to raise nursery stock in the 1970's and the Willow Lake Nursery and Landscaping Service was established.

Researched and written by Joan Marie Toni Meyering

 Oregon Illustrated Annual, 1904.


Additional Links
Oregon Nursery Company in 1905.
Oregon Nursery Company in 1905.
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Original document introducing the Maynard plum to Salem
Document introducing the Maynard plum to Salem
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