Belle View Nursery, which in 1869 was located on the south side of Brown (now West MacArthur Blvd), near Telegraph Avenue, was the Botanical Gardens for Oakland, California. The proprietor, Mr. Stephen Nolan, began putting the collection together in 1860, and developed it over the course of nine years. The gardens were open to the public free of charge, and Nolan answered visitors questions regarding the trees and plants on display.
The Botanical Gardens was the largest collection of native and foreign trees, shrubs, plants and bulbous roots on the Pacific Coast. On display were California conifer, along with many plants indigenous to California. The Gardens also hosted an extensive collection of Australian and New Zealand trees and shrubs, which flowered during the Bay Area winter. Mexico, Chile, Peru, the West Indies and other parts of the world were also represented in a vast collection of plants. Visitors from around the country came to see trees and plants from around California.
A 1869 advertisement for the Belle View Nursery was as follows:
Belle View Nursery
Contains the largest Botanical Collection of
TREES, SHRUBS, PLANTS, AND BULBOUS ROOTS,
On the Pacific Coast.
Specimen Trees planted out in the grounds as samples to aid purchasers in their selection.
"We raise our own trees in quantity, and to those planting largely, can sell at wholesale rates.
We are constantly receiving all the best novelties in the plant line, as they come out, and can furnish plants at same rates as sold in the States.
Our collection of Bulbs is unrivaled, and we invite the Public to come and see them in bloom during Spring and Summer, and judge for themselves.
"We have constantly on hand a large stock of trees and shrubs, in pots and boxes, for planting any time through the year.
"We employ no agents; business men can thus buy from first hands.
Good gardeners recommended to lay out grounds and attend to gardens when required.
S. Nolan, Proprietor.
In the 1876 Oakland City Directory Belle View Nursery was still listed.
- Photos of the Bell View Nursery OMCA - http://collections.museumca.org/?q=category/subject/belle-view-nursery