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Guide to the Mission Valley Nursery Records MS 57
MS 57  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Processing Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical / Historical Notes
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Comments
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

  • Title: Mission Valley Nursery Records
    Identifier/Call Number: MS 57
    Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 0.5 Linear feet (2 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1892-1947
    Abstract: This collection contains business records for the Mission Valley Nursery, run by the Benard family from 1888 to 1945.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English and French.
    creator: Mission Valley Nursery.

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Samantha Mills on March 18, 2013.
    Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

    Preferred Citation

    Mission Valley Nursery Records, MS 57, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

    Biographical / Historical Notes

    Ernest Benard was born in Orleans, France in 1859. He came to San Diego in 1887 as a foreman for the California Nursery Company in charge of landscaping at the Hotel Del Coronado. In 1888 he began to develop the Mission Valley Nursery, the first nursery in San Diego. On August 11, 1891, he married Margaretha Herkert. Margaretha was born September 17, 1868 in Calhoun County, Illinois, and came to San Diego in 1889. They lived at 732 Cerro Gordo Ave. and ran the nursery sales yard at Sixth and D Streets. Ernest died in 1928. Margaretha continued to run the business until her retirement due to ill health in 1945. She died November 24, 1947. They had two daughters: Mrs. Rosa B. Becker and Mrs. Lily C. Colt.
    The Mission Valley Nursery was responsible for introducing many varieties of roses and olive trees to San Diego. The Benards provided ornamental planting throughout the City of San Diego, Point Loma, and Balboa Park. They worked with many notable local figures including Madame Katherine Tingley of the Theosophical Society, Kate Sessions, and George Marston.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains business records for the Mission Valley Nursery, run by the Benard family from 1888 till 1945. Business records include a daily account books kept by Ernest Benard, receipts and invoices detailing regular expenses for stock and gardening supplies, and correspondence regarding several landscaping projects. Additionally there are nurseryman licenses, a horticultural census form, and brochures listing available merchandise from the Mission Valley Nursery and other companies.


    Collection is arranged by subject.


    Original landscaping plans for the A.H. Sweet Residence project are located in the Sweet Family Collection.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Accession number 971217.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Benard, Ernest
    Benard, Margaretha Herkert
    City Park Commission (San Diego, Calif.).
    Marston, George White, 1850-1946
    Mission Valley Nursery.
    Sessions, Kate Olivia, 1857-1940
    Sweet, Adelbert H.
    Tingley, Katherine Augusta Westcott, 1847-1929
    Account books
    Landscape nurseries
    Mission Valley (Calif.)
    Nurseries (Horticulture)
    Nursery growers
    Ornamental horticulture
    Receipts (Acknowledgements)
    San Diego (Calif.)