Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Images published with the permission of Susan Glousher
"It is a bronze medal approx 2 1/2 inches. The same medal was used for the Olympics which was held in Paris the same year. On side 1 it has a picture representative of France's national emblem "Marianne" with an oak tree to her left and the Paris skyline on her right. On side 2 it depicts a woman, presumably Victoria the Goddess of Victory, carrying a winner on her shoulders. The winner is holding the Olympic Torch. On the same side there is a plaque where the recipient's name is engraved, in this case W Warnock. The medal designer is J. C. Chaplain (1839-1909), one of the most well known medalist of the late 19th century."

Published with the permission of Susan Glousher

"I have also attached pictures of the three pumpkins on the wagon in William's garden. They were apparently 403, 385, and 370 lbs. respectively. This image is from my collection taken by Reuben Sallows, a renown Canadian photographer who was from Goderich."

Published with the permission of Susan Glousher

By Mr. WM. WARNOCK, Goderich, Ont.

Who grew a single specimen of Rennie's Mammoth Squash weighing 365 pounds, and exhibited at the Worlds Fair, Chicago, in 1893. Also a squash weighing 403 pounds, which was exhibited at the St Louis Exposition in 1904. My land is made in good condition, being heavily manured every year, it is of a gravelly formation with about sixteen inches of clay loam on top. A three hundred pound Squash can be grown on any part of it by the following method of cultivation: For each
hill I intend to plant, about the first of April I take two good wheelborrow loads of hen manure, and mix with four barrows of good soil taken from some other part of the lot: this is mixed a second time in the middle of April. The first of May I add four barrows of well rotted manure and mix thoroughly, then about the eighteenth of May make the hills and plant, dig out a space seven feet in diameter and fourteen inches deep, fill in my compost mixing, and with it some of the best earth which was thrown out, and when finished, the hill will be about ten feet in diameter. and six inches higher in the centre than the surrounding level. Then plant the
seed. Hills want to be about twenty feet apart; work the ground well until the plants commence to run. When about three feet long, I mulch the ground all over for twenty feet in diameter around each hill with Horse manure three inches deep, and stake the vines down with sticks to keep the wind from rolling them about, so that they may root at every joint. It is of great advantage to keep the vine from fruiting as long as possible, by pruning all fruit off until about the last week in July; this will give time enough to mature a Three Hundred Pound Squash by the first of October, for there must be a big vine to produce a big squash. I practice fertilizing a
few of the first bloom that come, when I think the vine is strong enough to grow a good specimen, by cutting off some of the fresh false bloom, trim the corolla or flower leaf off, and rub the stamen in around the fresh fruit bloom. This is necessary when fruit bloom opens on a morning that is unfavorable for bees to do their work, and it assures the setting of the specimens just where you want them. It also gives extra vigor to the growth of fruit to be well pollinized. When the first perfect specimens have set well, say four or five inches in diameter, cut all other fruit and blossoms off, and nip the ends off vines and all bloom that shows twice a
week, so that the vine is not exhausted with the great quantity of false bloom that would naturally come. Now while the great growth of the Squash is going on I use liquid manure twice a week along three or four of the principle vines of each hill, often six pails to the hill if it is in a dry time. Great care must be taken to give plenty of water; for instance, in 1893, when I grew the great specimen that was the largest on exhibition at the Worlds Fair, it was a dry time with us at Goderich, and having the advantage of the town water service, I sprayed each hill twice a week through August and the first two weeks in September, drenching the ground each time.
P.S. I expect all have heard of feeding Squash and Pumpkin by injecting milk or other stuff . This is a ridiculous silly humbug. I have practiced several methods along this line when I was younger, but it only makes me ashamed to confess it, and I am now quite
satisfied the only thing that will increase the size of the fruit comes out of the vine, and the vine must get its support from the natural roots.

The Early History of Giant Pumpkin Cultivation: Mr. William Warnock

Good morning, Pumpkinistas!

Much has been written about Howard Dill and his experiments in cross-breeding that eventually led to the creation and patent of the 'Dill's Atlantic Giant' pumpkin cultivar. In fact, Howard Dill became even more famous in 1979 and heralded a new era, when he grew a 438 pounder that eclipsed the record that had stood for 76 years, the 403 pound pumpkin grown by William Warnock, in 1903.

Who was William Warnock? To find out, I contacted Susan Glousher, William Warnock's great granddaughter, in Ontario, Canada. Ms. Glousher was most gracious, and gave me permission to reprint Warnock's classic "How To Grow Big Squashes", his medal from the 1900 Paris World's Fair/Exposition Universelle for growing a 400 pound pumpkin, seen above, and gave this description of her illustrious ancestor: "William was a great writer and I believe quite well read. I have another article he wrote for our local paper called the Moralities of Horticulture (1908) that I think is brilliant. He also frequently wrote to the Canadian Horticulturalist, which I have a couple entries from their archives as well. He loved Horticulture and the fraternity created by it...his passion is quite evident in his writing. William named his son Linneaus after Carl Linneaus the Father of Taxonomy."

Thank you very much, Susan for sharing these precious materials and your account of your great, great grandfather, William Warnock!