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Lewis & Valentine company records

Creator:
Lewis & Valentine Company  Search this
Donor:
Lewis, Hewlett Withington  Search this
Names:
Lewis & Valentine Company  Search this
Lewis & Valentine Nurseries, Inc.  Search this
Longwood Gardens (Kennett Square, Pa.)  Search this
Rodin Museum (Philadelphia, Pa.)  Search this
Lewis, Harold Carman  Search this
Owner:
Auchincloss, Hugh D.  Search this
Chrysler, Walter P. (Walter Percy), 1909-  Search this
Kahn, Otto Hermann, 1867-1934  Search this
Schwab, Charles M., 1862-1939  Search this
Stotesbury, Edward T.  Search this
Woolworth, F. W.  Search this
du Pont, Eugene  Search this
du Pont, Pierre S.  Search this
Extent:
2.5 Cubic feet (documents, 366 photographs, 1 videotape.)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Videotapes
Brochures
Books
Lists
Correspondence
Trade catalogs
Photographs
Place:
New York (State) -- Greenvale
New York (State) -- Roslyn
Date:
1916-1971
Summary:
The Lewis & Valentine Company Collection contains records of the Lewis & Valentine Company dating from 1916 to 1971 including photographs, negatives, brochures, books, trade catalogs, company papers, letters from clients, customer lists and a history of the company written by Harold Carman Lewis. Photographs document the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, estates in Long Island, New York, and the properties of Hugh D. Auchincloss, Eugene du Pont, Walter P. Chrysler, Otto H. Kahn, F. W. Woolworth, Pierre S. du Pont (Longwood Gardens), Charles M. Schwab and Edward T. Stotesbury. This collection contains only a sampling of the records of Lewis & Valentine and should not be considered comprehensive.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged into 3 series:

Series 1: Documents Series 2: Photographs Series 3: Videotape
Biographical/Historical note:
Specializing in moving and replanting large trees, Lewis & Valentine was one of the most prominent landscape contracting companies in the eastern United States during the first half of the twentieth century. The Lewis & Valentine Company was formed by five brothers whose father had hoped that his sons would grow up to be lawyers. Instead, the Lewis brothers formed a landscape design, installation and nursery firm that specialized in developing "successful methods for transplanting full-grown trees." Their success was based on "doing well the task which is usually considered impossible."

The company was the inspiration of H.C. Lewis, the oldest of seven brothers, who believed that estate owners should have the luxury of immediate landscapes, rather than waiting decades for their landscapes to mature. The Lewis brothers started their business in the early 1900s. Shortly afterwards, a Mr. Valentine, roommate of Albert Addison Lewis at the Amherst Landscape School in Massachusetts, invested in the business. After three years Mr. Valentine moved on and the Lewis brothers bought back his interest, but continued to keep Valentine part of the company's name.

Lewis & Valentine was the largest firm in America devoted to transplainting mature trees in the years leading up to the Great Depression. It claimed to be "the most experienced and most versatile, backed by an intimate knowledge of horticulture and the development of fine estates." The company was noted as a leader in providing complete landscape services, from selling and guaranteeing the plants, to designing and installation, requiring that its staff be men "of good character and not afraid of hard work." This was evident in the firm's principle of no limitations to the size of trees that they were willing to deliver. The trees were often full-grown and ranged in age from twenty to a hundred years old. Many were so large that 20 or more tons of earth had to be moved during the relocation process.

During its first 25 years in business, Lewis & Valentine opened nineteen offices east of the Mississippi serving such notable clients as Charles A. Schwab and Pierre du Pont at his estate, Longwood. The business was set up as an organization of independent companies. Each was incorporated under the laws of the state in which it operated. The offices were located in Connecticut (Darien), Florida (Palm Beach), Illinois (Chicago), Maryland (Baltimore), Massachusetts (Boston and Hanover), Michigan (Detroit), Pennsylvania (Ardmore and Pittsburg), New Jersey (Ashbury Park and Morristown), New York (Buffalo, Roslyn-Long Island, Rye, Valley Stream-Long Island, New York City), North Carolina (Winston-Salem) and Ohio (Cleveland and Cincinnati). Although no longer owned by any members of the Lewis family, the company still exists and operates in Long Island under the name Lewis & Valentine Nurseries.
Provenance:
Gift from Hewlett Withington Lewis, former owner of Lewis & Valentine Nurseries.
Restrictions:
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Rights:
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.
Topic:
Nurseries (Horticulture) -- United States  Search this
Gardens -- New York (State)  Search this
Tree moving  Search this
Landscape gardening -- New York (State)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Videotapes
Brochures
Books
Lists
Correspondence
Trade catalogs
Photographs
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, Lewis & Valentine Company Records.
Identifier:
AAG.LVC
See more items in:
Lewis & Valentine company records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Gardens
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aag-lvc
Additional Online Media:

Wilmington -- Owl's Nest

Landscape architect:
Shipman, Ellen  Search this
Coffin, Marian Cruger, 1876-1957  Search this
Former owner:
Du Pont, Eugene, Jr. Mr. Mrs.  Search this
Collection Creator:
Garden Club of America  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Place:
Owl's Nest (Wilmington, Delaware)
United States of America -- Delaware -- New Castle County -- Wilmington
Scope and Contents:
The folder includes worksheets and photocopied pages from the 1938 Garden Club of America annual meeting program.
General:
Designed by Ellen Biddle Shipman, with additional work by Marian Cruger Coffin, the gardens at Owl's Nest combined formality and informality and commanded a fine view of the surrounding countryside. The property was sold in 1961. Eighteen acres became part of the Greenville Country Club, while the rest of the land was developed as Owl's Nest Estates.
Persons associated with the garden include: Ellen Biddle Shipman (landscape architect, before 1938); Marian Cruger Coffin (landscape architect); Mr. and Mrs. Eugene du Pont, Jr. (former owners).
Related Materials:
Owl's Nest related holdings consist of 1 folder (1 glass lantern slide, 2 35 mm. slides)
Collection Restrictions:
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.
Topic:
Gardens -- Delaware -- Wilmington  Search this
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, Garden Club of America collection.
Identifier:
AAG.GCA, File DE005
See more items in:
The Garden Club of America collection
The Garden Club of America collection / Series 1: United States Garden Images / Delaware
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Gardens
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aag-gca-ref6081

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