Bygones of Monroe:
POINTE AUX PEAUX WINERY
The Pointe Aux Peaux Wine Company is represented at the State Fair this week by seven kinds of wine, and seventeen varieties of grapes. Among the latter is a new seedling grown at the Pointe called Cooley.s Seedling. Wine from this grape is also exhibited.
(Monroe Commercial, September 18, 1873, p.3, c.2)
The committee of the State Pomological Society for examining orchards, nurseries, and vineyards visited Monroe on Friday last and spent Friday and Saturday examining the nurseries and vineyards in this locality entered for premiums. The committee is composed of Prof. W.J. Beal of the Agricultural College, Chairman, W.H. Gregory of Pine Grove, Van Buren County, C.W. Garfield and C.N. Merriman of Grand Rapids, and N.Chilson of Battle Creek. They were also accompanied by the Secretery of the Society, Col. J.P. Thompson of Cascade Springs.
The committee were met at the depot Friday morning by Messrs. I.E. Ilgenfritz, E.H. Reynolds, Baker Lewis, J.M Sterling, and G.W. Bruckner, and proceeded at once to the nursery of Reynolds, Lewis & Co. to commence their labors. The nurseries of Reynolds, Lewis & Co. and that of I.E. Ilgenfritz & Co. were entered for premiums. George W. Bruckner enters four vineyards, W. Sterling one vineyard, J.M. Sterling one vineyard and one orchard, and the Point Aux Peaux Wine Co. their vineyard at the Point.
The forenoon of Friday was consumed in examining the Monroe City Nursery of Reynolds, Lewis & Co. who have 130 acres growing trees. This nursery is all in one body and the committee expressed themselves highly pleased with its condition and arrangement.
The afternoon was spent in examining the Monroe Nursery ,I.L. Ilgenfritz & Co. proprietors. This farm have between 200 and 300 acres bearing trees, on four separate farms. The committee expressed themselves greatly astonished at the extent of these nurseries having had no idea that so large nurseries were in cultivation in the state. The points on which they examine and base their reports and awards are soil; protection; nearness to market; variety and arrangement; culture; pruning, grafting, healthfulness and freedom from insects; and comparison with test orchard.
On Saturday morning the committee took an early start for the vineyards on their list. The Henriette Vineyard owned by Miss Henrietta Bruckner, which took the first premium last year, as the best Concord Vineyard was found in excellent condition and the vines well laden with fruit. Also Bruckner.s River Raisin Vineyard and his Lotus Island Vineyard, the latter containing 5 acres of Concords and Catawbas, the fruit large, fine and well flavored.
Another island nearby owned by G.W. Bruckner and E.J. Boyd growing Concords and Delewares was found in flourishing condition and also the island of W.C. Sterling, with four acres of Concord vines.
The island seem to possess advantages over the mainland, the waters of the bay keeping the frosts off to a later date and enabling the grapes to ripen up more fully. The vineyard and apple orchard of J.W. Stering, near the docks, were also examined and highly recommended. This vineyard is only 2 ½ acres in extent, and was the first vineyard planted in Monroe County, being planted in 1866. There are now over 20 vineyards in this vicinity, embracing in all nearly 200 acres.
J.W. Sterling.s apple orchard was declared by the committee to be pretty nearly a No. 1 orchard, the trees being vigorous and healthy, well pruned and well laden with fruit, and the varieties of among the best grown. The question was asked, .is it a good plan to give hogs the freedom of the orchard as Mr. Sterling does?. .Most certainly. was replied .the hogs destroy the insects and keep the trees and fruit healthy..
Messrs. Sterling and Noble having chartered the tug A.D. PERKINS, the committee.enjoyed a delightful sail down the river and across to Point Aux Peaux where they were met by Messrs W.A. Noble, Rev. Dr. Mattoon, E.H. Reynolds, and other gentlemen of Monroe.who accompanied the committee in examination of the Wine Cellar and the process of making wine, and their large vineyard of 12 acres in a most complete condition and heavily laden with most beautiful and luscious fruit.
At the table, Prof. Beal announced that the committee had just held a meeting and had awarded the first premium of the Society, a Gold Medal, to the Point Aux Peaux Wine Company.s vineyard, it being marked a pet vineyard by the members of the committee, in all the points of examination. Certainly we have never seen any vineyard better laden with fruit or in better condition in any respect, than that at Point Aux Peaux at the present time.
The labors of the committee being over they again embarked in the tug PERKINS and reached the Monroe depot in time for the 5 o.clock train, which conveyed them toward their several homes. The committee expressed themselves not only astonished but highly delighted and edified by their visit to Monroe and their examination of its nurseries and vineyards.
(Monroe Commercial, October 2, 1873, p.3, c3)