Friday Fun California Style

While most of the 49ers came to California in search of gold, others soon learned what a fertile land it is and began farming. Many crops thrive in the rich soil of the Central Valley.

Orchards are successful here, too. Early settlers planted numerous kinds of fruit trees, including apples, oranges, and pears. After just one generation, the trees were producing well and providing fruit for the state’s growing population as well as for export.

The 1869 report of the U.S. Secretary of the Interior (page 76) listed crop statistics by state. Included for California were the actual numbers of apple, orange, and pear trees.

Which of these three types of trees do you think were most plentiful in California in 1869? You can leave your guess in a comment.

I’ll update the post over the weekend to include the answer, so you could check back Monday. I’ll also provide a link to this post at the end of next Friday’s quiz. If you view that post, you’ll be able to click the link and see the answer.

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Update and Answer

Of the three types of trees listed in the post, apple trees were the most abundant in 1869. There were 1,694,986 apple trees, 482,477 pear trees, but only 11,284 orange trees. While California is known for our orange trees these days, orchardists hadn’t yet begun to plant large numbers of orange trees in the early days. Things began to change after the tasty, seedless navel orange was introduced in 1873.

• • •

I’ve updated the Friday Fun post from last week. Click this link to see the answer.

Image from iStockPhoto.
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About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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20 Responses to Friday Fun California Style

  1. jessicarpatch says:

    Oranges seem obvious, so I’m going with pears. Have a great weekend, Keli!

  2. Lindsay Harrel says:

    I’d say apple trees were most abundant. Just a random guess because I have apples in my fridge. 🙂 Happy Friday!

  3. I’m going to go with pears, since that seems least likely. Happy Friday!

  4. Melissa Tagg says:

    I’m going with pears solely because I used to live across the street from a family who moved to Iowa from California and brought with them a pear tree. 🙂 True story!

  5. wendypainemiller says:

    Pears b/c that seems like a fun Friday answer. 😀

  6. As a CA native, I have to take a stab at this. (though I could be very wrong, LOL) Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit. Those fruits are what are abundant in the valleys around us, although those may be more modern plantings.

  7. Loree Huebner says:

    Orange? Or maybe some kind of nut tree?

  8. Anne Payne says:

    I vote for pears too 🙂

  9. I think it was oranges. In my early years when we first moved to SoCal, I remember orange groves being plowed over to build houses for the many families like ours who moved from the cold MidWest to balmy California.

  10. Donna Pyle says:

    Fascinating! Hmmm…I’ll go with lemons, limes, and oranges. Just ’cause. 🙂

  11. Keli, I have yet to get one of these correct, but today I’ll go with the obvious and say ORANGES 🙂

    Did you know there was a real life Johnny Apple Seed? And that his apple orchards in Ohio are still florishing?

  12. Martina Bedregal Calderón says:

    I would say pears….or lemon….. but I might be completely wrong….

  13. cynthiaherron says:

    I’ll say apple since oranges seem most likely. 🙂

  14. bethkvogt says:

    I’m going with … pear. I want to say apple, but that seems too obvious.

  15. Oranges, apples and pears

  16. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    Hmm. I’m going to say pears.

  17. jeanniecampbell says:

    i’m going with oranges, mainly b/c those are the trees that i see the most now, even though i know that isn’t the intent of the question. 🙂

  18. Marji Laine says:

    I’m going with the orange trees. Seems like I remember that apple and pear trees deal better with winter. Although pears are more normal in the south.

    We have orange trees in South Texas where it is more like CA in temps and rainfall, so that’s my guess.

  19. Keli Gwyn says:

    Thanks to everyone who visited the post and to those who left a comment.

    Of the three types of trees listed in the post, apple trees were the most abundant in 1869. There were 1,694,986 apple trees, 482,477 pear trees, but only 11,284 orange trees. While California is known for our orange trees these days, orchardists hadn’t yet begun to plant large numbers of orange trees in the early days. Things began to change after the tasty, seedless navel orange was introduced in 1873.

  20. Pingback: Friday Fun Victorian Style | Keli Gwyn's Blog

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