Guide to the Bell Conservatory Company records

Sean Heyliger
Center for Sacramento History
551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd.
Sacramento, California 95811-0229
Phone: (916) 808-7072
Fax: (916) 264-7582
Email: csh@cityofsacramento.org
URL: http://www.centerforsacramentohistory.org/
© 2013
Center for Sacramento History. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Bell Conservatory Company records

Collection number: MS0030

Center for Sacramento History

Sacramento, CA
Processed by:
Sean Heyliger
Date Completed:
2019-08-15
Encoded by:
Sean Heyliger
© 2013 Center for Sacramento History. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Bell Conservatory Company records
Dates: 1889-1965
Bulk Dates: 1889-1931
Collection number: MS0030
Creator: Bell Conservatory Company
Collection Size: 4.25 linear feet (6 boxes)
Repository: Center for Sacramento History
Sacramento, California 95811-0229
Abstract: The Bell Conservatory Company Business Records is comprised o f 4.25 linear feet of business records. The majority of the files are financial ledgers. Also included are two sample books of floral arrangements. The bulk of the collection dates from 1889 - 1930. The collection is divided into 3 series: financial records, sample floral arrangements, and artifacts.
Physical location: 2C5-2C6, 44D1
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Access

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights

All requests to publish or quote from private collections held by the Center for Sacramento History (CSH) must be submitted in writing to csh@cityofsacramento.org. Permission for publication is given on behalf of CSH as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the patron. No permission is necessary to publish or quote from public records.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item and/or item number], [box and folder number], Bell Conservatory Company records, MS0030, Center for Sacramento History.

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated by Bert Geisreiter, last owner of the Bell Conservatory Company, to the Center for Sacramento History in 1981 (accession number 1981/080)

Processing Information

The collection was partially processed in 1981 providing a listing of the contents. Processing was completed in 2019 by Ruth Craft.

Biography / Administrative History

The Bell Conservatory was located in Sacramento California on Broadway between 9 and 10th Streets in Sacramento, California. It was constructed in 1881 under the direction of Margaret Crocker, well known community leader and wife of E.B. Crocker. The cost of construction at that time was $38,000 dollars. Mrs. Crocker wished to supply flowers for the graves of the nearby Sacramento City Cemetery, where many of the city’s founders were buried. The conservatory building had a glass construction with a large dome on top. Some of the glass came from Belgium and was ordered through the Tiffany Company. The Conservatory was a half size replica of the San Francisco Conservatory which was built in 1878. The Conservatory was purchased by Eugene Geisreiter in the 1880s. Geisreiter, born in New York, came to California and worked at the San Francisco Conservatory. He moved to Sacramento and operated the Bell Conservatory for almost fifty years. After his death, his son Herbert (Bert) operated the company from 1928 until 1956. Bert Geisreiter attend UC Berkeley and obtained a degree in landscape architecture. Geisreiter served as mayor of the Sacramento during the years 1950 and 1951. He also served on the City Council and the Planning Commission. Additionally, he served as the General Manager of the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau from 1957 until 1972. The Bell Conservatory was sold in 1954 and was then torn down to make way for a Safeway supermarket.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Bell Conservatory Company records consist primarily of financial records of The Bell Conservatory Company from the years 1889 – 1931. The collection is divided into three series. Series 1 : Financial Records contains financial ledgers from the company from 1889 through 1931. Some years are missing. Two ledgers , one for the year 1900 are in very poor condition. Series 2: Sample Floral Arrangements contains two sample books of floral arrangements. Series 3: Artifacts contains an overcoat donated with the collection

Arrangement

Series 1. Financial ledgers Series 2. Floral arrangements Series 3. Overcoat

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Bell Conservatory Company
Conservatory gardening
Floriculture--California
Floriculture--History
Florists--California
Sacramento (Calif.)--history

Related Material

A photograph of the Conservatory can be found at the Center for Sacramento History 1968/110/0060. Additionally, the California State Library has three photographs of the Bell Conservatory in the California History Room. Also, in the 1890 Bird’s Eye View map of Sacramento by C. P. Cook, one of the side vignettes is of the Bell Conservatory. The Sacramento Public Library owns a book published by the Bell Conservatory in the 1880s titled “The Descriptive Catalogue of ornamental nursery stock: roses, carnations, palms, evergreens and shade trees, greenhouses, bedding and border plants, etc.” The Sacramento Bee has many articles pertaining to the Geisreiter family and the Bell Conservatory. The Center for Sacramento History maintains a research file on the Bell Conservatory.

Collection Contents

 

Series 1. Financial records

Physical Description: 5 boxes

Series Scope and Content Summary

Financial records contains financial ledgers from the company from 1889 through 1931. Some years are missing. Two ledgers , one for the year 1900 are in very poor condition.
 

Subseries 1.1 Ledgers

Box 1 Folder 1

Financial ledgers 1889

Box 1 Folder 2

Financial ledgers 1889

Box 1 Folder 3

Financial ledgers December 20, 1891 - January 18, 1892

Box 1 Folder 4

Financial ledgers 1892

Box 1 Folder 5

Financial ledgers 1892

Box 1 Folder 6

Financial ledgers 1893

Box 1 Folder 7

Financial ledgers 1896

Box 1 Folder 8

Financial ledgers 1894 - 1904

Box 1 Folder 9

Financial ledgers 1895

Box 1 Folder 10

Financial ledgers 1897

Box 1 Folder 11

Financial ledgers 1898

Box 2 Folder 1

Financial ledgers 1899

Box 2 Folder 2

Financial ledgers April 28 - May 28, 1899

Box 2 Folder 3

Financial ledgers October 13, - November 7, 1900

Box 2 Folder 4

Financial ledgers March 10 - April 1, 1901

Box 2 Folder 5

Financial ledgers April 13 - May 2, 1901

Box 2 Folder 6

Financial ledgers June 4 - July 18, 1901

Box 2 Folder 7

Financial ledgers July 24 - September 25, 1901

Box 2 Folder 8

Financial ledgers September 25 - November 8, 1901

Box 2 Folder 9

Financial ledgers January 23 - February 18, 1902

Box 2 Folder 10

Financial ledgers February 26 - March 16, 1902

Box 2 Folder 11

Financial ledgers March 16 - April 7, 1902

Box 2 Folder 12

Financial ledgers March 17 - November 21, 1902

Box 2 Folder 13

Financial ledgers April 10 - May 6, 1902

Box 2 Folder 14

Financial ledgers May 6 - June 1, 1902

Box 2 Folder 15

Financial ledgers June 3 - July 18, 1902

Box 2 Folder 16

Financial ledgers July 2 -September 7, 1902

Box 2 Folder 17

Financial ledgers September 7 - October 27, 1902

Box 2 Folder 18

Financial ledgers October 28 - December 1902

Box 2 Folder 19

Financial ledgers 1903

Box 2 Folder 20

Financial ledgers 1904

Box 2 Folder 21

Financial ledgers 1905

Box 3 Folder 1

Financial ledgers July 3 1906

Box 3 Folder 2

Financial ledgers 1906 - 1907

Box 3 Folder 3

Financial ledgers 1906 - 1909

Box 3 Folder 4

Financial ledgers 21-Mar-05

Box 3 Folder 5

Financial ledgers May 3 - August 1907

Box 3 Folder 6

Financial ledgers November 9 - December 16, 1907

Box 3 Folder 7

Financial ledgers 1907 - 1917

Box 3 Folder 8

Financial ledgers 1920 - 1925

Box 3 Folder 9

Financial ledgers 1926 - 1929

Box 3 Folder 10

Financial ledgers 1929 - 1931

Box 3 Folder 11

Financial ledgers Feb 6 - ?

Box 3 Folder 12

Financial ledgers November 25 - ?

Box 3 Folder 13

Financial ledgers January 23 - July 27 ?

Box 3 Folder 14

Financial ledgers Jul 29 - February

Box 3 Folder 15

Financial ledgers March 4 - September

Box 3 Folder 16

Financial ledgers May 28 - January 22

Box 3 Folder 17

Financial ledgers undated

Box 3 Folder 18

Financial ledgers 1905

Box 5 Folder 2

Financial ledgers 1900

Box 5 Folder 3

Financial ledgers undated

Box 3:19

Subseries 1.2 Receipt - Casey and Kavenaugh Wines and liquors 1909 - 1910

Box 3:20

Subseries 1.3 California nursery company price list 1901 - 1902

4:1-2

Subseries 1.4 Southern Pacific railroad shipping records 1902 - 1903

4:3

Subseries 1.5 Charles M. Goethe commeration book 1965

4:2

Subseries 1.6 Sacramento County California fifth annual financial statement 1908

 

Series 2. Floral arrangements

Physical Description: 2 folders

Series Scope and Content Summary

Sample Floral Arrangements contains two sample books of floral arrangements.
5:1

Subseries 2.1 Album of floral designs undated

4:4

Subseries 2.2 Album designs undated

Box 6

Series 3. Artifacts

Physical Description: 1 box

Series Scope and Content Summary

Artifacts contains an overcoat donated with the collection. Carriageman's black wool overcoat that may have been worn by a man while he worked for Albert Elkus, owner of Elkus Store in Sacramento.