Luelling East of the Dalles in 1847
This would be an interesting development. I am also looking for such remnants of the 1847 Overland collection. I just visited one such descendant apple tree, full of new blossoms (reputed to be a delicious, green pie apple) that Henderson planted in his new nursery and orchard located in Fruitvale, CA (now part of Oakland), circa 1853.
Per the history that I have been digging up, The main Luelling contact in the Fall of 1847, East of The Dalles, was Marcus Whitman in Walla Walla. Is this tree that you refer to anywhere near this area? Henderson was very intent on getting all
of his brood tree cargo all the way to the Willamette Valley and reputedly would not part with any
of his trees along the way. If the tree is one of the original members of the Westward bound 700, I am wondering what extreme circumstances would have occured that would prompt him to give up even one tree. Supposedly he was very sympathetic to Marcus Whitman, and Whitman tried to get the Luelling venture to setup their new nursery in Walla Walla. Maybe this tree that you seek information about has something to do with a jesture of solidarity that Henderson and M. Whitman may have felt toward each other. Maybe there is something in the Whitman records that refers to such a "gift", had it occurred. Interesting possibility!
Looking at the map, Wasco OR is not particularly near Walla Walla, WA and so I am again wondering how such a tree would have gotten separated from the traveling load? Also, you state that Wasco is on the Oregon Trail that the Luelling wagons would have traveled in 1847. East from The Dalles: Cecil, Echo, Pendleton were the settlements that the trail passed through according to http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... l_1907.jpg
Does that line up with your information?
After 1849 there were thousands of new trees coming from the Luelling/Meek Nursery in Milwaukie, that were distributed all over Calif-Oregon-Washington. By the mid 1850s there were 6 different nursery sites tied into the Luelling-Lewelling propagator-distributor, network in Oregon, Washington, and California. Seth Lewelling's log of 1850 describes the volume and extent of these operations. David Diamond's: "Migrations" thesis of 2004 gives even greater detail. There are also relatives of Alfred Luelling (Henderson's oldest son) who settled in Madras -Bend area (farmers).
Regarding the variety ID of the tree, suggest that you do the obvious....take pictures of different growth stages throughout the year; make and post descriptive notes over the annual cycle (especially the stages of fruit development); if your have cooperation of the owner, and it looks like fruit development would benefit, do some fruit thinning at early stages to encourage size development; harvest and bring some nice samples of the fruit (along with your notes and pictures) to the Fall HOS Fruit Exchange where the ID committee (Joanie Cooper, et al) can likely ID the tree. Elsewhere on this forum I have posted the list of plant varieties that H. Luelling brought with him in the "Traveling Tree Nursery of 1847", per his contemporary H L Lambert.
Thank you for your interesting post! Looking forward to your next installment.