successful orchardists of this county is counted Mr. Charles Bruch. He owns the
block bounded by Eighth, Ninth, Martha, and Bestor Streets, where he resides,
all of which is planted in bearing fruit-trees. Originally he owned ten
acres, which he purchased in 1860. In 1862 he planted it in fruit-trees, chiefly
apples, but also peaches, plums, prunes, and apricots. At first he planted out strawberries between the trees over the whole ten acres of the place. For a time he made a deal of money, receiving as much as $2,000 to $3,000 a year during the first years for the fruit upon the trees. Later the trees became diseased, and had to be dug out. The strawberries, too, became unprofitable on account of the competition of the Chinese strawberry gardens. For several years he cultivated his place in wheat in order to rid the ground of the insect pests, and then planted it again in strawberries for some three years. Now a new orchard has been planted, which is just coming into good bearing. In 1887 a part of the place was sold for town lots, leaving about five acres, all in orchard. In 1861 Mr. Bruch sank an artesian well, which at first gave sufficient water to irrigate the whole tract. The sinking of other wells in the neighborhood, however, so reduced the flow that he was obliged to sink others until he had seven in all.
Mr. Bruch was one of the first to engage in fruit-raising in this valley, and aided effectually in proving the wonderful adaptability of our soil and climate to horticulture. When the transcontinental railroad was completed a complimentary present of the choicest California fruits was sent to Queen Victoria. The committee, to whom was intrusted the selection of the fruit, chose the apples from those raised in Mr. Bruch's orchard on account of their fine qualities and beautiful appearance. These results come from the assiduous attention always given by him in the selection of choice varieties, the watchful trimming, and the careful shaping of the fruit during growth.
Mr. Bruch was
born in Prussia, in 1819. He attended school in his native place, while at the
same time working on his father's farm. He then learned the blacksmith trade, at
which he worked until his thirtieth year, having a shop of his own, and
employing about ten men. In 1853 he came to America, stopping a short time in
New York State, and coming out to California by the Nicaragua route, reaching
San Francisco in the fall. He remained there for one year, working at his trade.
In 1854 he came to San Jose and established a blacksmith shop, which he
conducted successfully for about three years. He then bought the land he still
owns, and engaged in fruit-growing, at first obtaining his water for irrigation
by artesian wells, then by horse-power, and finally by steam pumps. He was
married, in 1846, in Germany, to Miss Charlotte Bogart, of his native village.
They have four children. Charles is the superintendent of John Rock's celebrated
nurseries near San Jose; Louis is teaching school near San Jose; Louisa is doing
the same in San Jose, and Otto is clerking in Arizona.
Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY BIOGRAPHY PROJECT