California Nursery Historical Park
California Nursery Company
LANDERS FAMILY CONTROL
1904 to 1917
From 1904 to 1917 W. V. Eberly was
the manager of the nursery.
He had worked at the Nursery
for many years and been trained by John Rock and was an
accomplished nurseryman in his own right.
Eberly was well known among
nurserymen and served as the second president of the newly
formed California Nursery Association in 1912 (1)
and had been an officer in
various positions in the Pacific Coast NurseryAssociation (2).
Under Eberly’s management, California
Nursery Company continued to grow and thrive.
As he writes in the CNC annual
remarks, “the unequaled
reputation which our trees have, not only on the Pacific Coast,
but in almost every country in the world, is an indication of
the great care we exercise in every detail of our chosen line of
BIG CONTRACTS--PANAMA PACIFIC
In 1915, the Nursery received their
largest and highest profile contract, providing landscaping and
an exhibit for the Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco
which celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal.
It was also the fifty year
anniversary of the Nursery.
Part of the plants CNC
supplied for the Exposition were
over a hundred full grown palm
In addition they set up a
“redwood forest” exhibit which won the nursery a Medal of Honor
The level of expertise needed
to successfully transport 100s of multi-ton trees was phenomenal
and showcased CNC’s well deserved reputation in preparation and
shipping of healthy trees.
William J. Landers, a San Francisco
financier, was the majority owner of the CNCo up until 1907,
owning 590 out of 1000 shares of CNC stock.
Landers had long interest in
the nursery and had been one of the initial investors and, as of
1900, was the only original director remaining on the board.
While serving as president, William
J. Landers ordered the upgrading of the infrastructure of the
Nursery including the construction of a Nursery Office and a
Cottage for use as a summer home for the Landers family.
The office and cottage are
both beautiful buildings and were reputedly designed by famed
architect Bernard Maybeck, designer of the Palace of Fine Arts
in San Francisco.
William J. Landers was injured during
the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco and died in 1907.
His son, William H. Landers
took over for his father in 1908 and by 1913 he served as
president of the California Nursery Corporation.
W.H. Landers remained as
president until 1917 when it was sold
to George Roeding.
Frederick Roeding, another German
immigrant who made his money in banking in San Francisco,
had invested in 80,000 acres in Fresno with a group of
partners. The property was relatively worthless until the
train was put through in 1870 and M.J. Church created an
irrigation system that would allow farming in the area. In
1883 Frederick Roeding, in partnership with Gustav Eisen (a
fig expert) started the Fancher Creek Nursery. By 1886 he
was ready to write the business off as a learning experience
but his oldest son, George Christian Roeding, persuaded his
father to allow him to run the nursery for a year after his
graduation from high school. His father wanted him to attend
a university but George was determined to follow his passion
While George Roeding was
successfully building up the Fancher Creek Nursery (in his
first year he did not break even, he actually made a profit
of $3500, to his father's astonishment and joy), Rock
continued his exemplary work at the California Nursery