Researched, compiled, translated and reported by 

W. Scott Baumann, 1999-2000

-Extracted from the Journal 'L' Alsace'  1993 article on the Baumann family; The CDHF in France; Notes from Baumann Family members and the Book BOLLWILLER, author unknown. 

Translated from the French language with Transparent Language software and certain liberties taken in the translation. 


There have been men and families that have marked history with an impression that they are noted for. This is the case of the BAUMANN family of BOLLWILLER.

In BOLLWILLER, which was a purely agricultural town, the nurseries provided work to the numerous families and consequently affluence. In 1624,  a Marquis of  BOLLWILLER ,  ROSEN Reinhold. Had been born in DORNACH close to Basel (Switzerland) and he worked with a famous gardener in Holland.

The  Marquis, ROSEN - of Bollwiller, France was granted (by the King of France) the title and privileges accorded him with the provisions as Military Commander of the Holy Order. In 1718, he was forced to vacate the position in the Army due to his failing eyesight and limitations of his age. 

During his retirement years, the Marquis occupied his interest in Horticulture which substantially raised the value of his property.  John BAUMANN was a man that had obtained a certain renown by his experience and his botanical knowledge. John-Jean, the son of this skillful gardener, apprenticed with  his father this artful science. In 1731,  the Marquis bequeathed to John-Jean BAUMANN, in gratitude of his  loyal services, a large tract of land which was the first nursery garden of trees known in Europe. Men came from all  parts of the kingdom to purchase the most precious varieties.

A catalog published by  Joseph BAUMANN in 1784 proved to be an important document in the history of arboriculture in Europe. From  this small and distant location, the BAUMANN establishments sent plants even to the far away regions of  Scandinavia and  Russia.

It was up the BAUMANN sons to continue the Baumann horticultural tradition.  In 1785, through the Marshal BROGLIE, the King named  Joseph BAUMANN, Bollwiller prévôt or (mayor) and the king declared him to carry the order of Lys.  Arboriculture was a very ancient practice , perfected, improved and studied without regard to the problems and worries of the countries. Under the reign of Louis XIV   a more rational orientation was adopted and the growth was constant. In 1830, one finds in BOLLWILLER and in HARTMANNSWILLER, in over 70 acres, a magnificent collection of trees, and  shrubs of native and exotic flowers and a collection of all  the plants and known vines in Europe so that they were made available to rest of the world. The BAUMANN’s maintained a scientific and business reputation that spread to India and Japan.

All that was gardening was grown in the Baumann lands, and everything was classified  methodically. Their nurseries were located in the BOLLWILLER suburbs and one in HARTMANNSWILLER. They employed 100-200 workers and sent their production to all of the countries of Europe.

They created apple varieties, such as the BAUMANN Reinette, Napoléon Bigarreau, Gray Reinette Royale, BOLLWILLER wonder Noisette.

Through their relations with English explorers, whom retrieved specimens of trees and of shrubs for them,  they enriched their nurseries with varieties even then unknown in our latitudes. The Baumann’s were also big travelers. Their expeditions drove them to all areas of Europe by foot and to  England and Canada by sailboat, from which they  again retrieved all sorts of apples and  ornamental trees such as the poplar of Canada, the red oak of America and various other types.

Joseph Bernard BAUMANN, born in 1776, studied horticulture in the gardens of the Big Duchy of KARLSRUHE, then in the Berlin botanical gardens. There, he met a woman who was working for the family of Kurland and married her,  they then returned to BOLLWILLER.

A son of Joseph Bernard, Charles BAUMANN, was celebrated for his cultivation and thorough study of camellias. He wrote a book on these magnificent flowers. This book exists as an only copy in PARIS and it is worth a small fortune.

Another BAUMANN son, himself a perfectionist, traveled extensively during his studies and he  passed through Hungary while on his way  back to BOLLWILLER. He was adopted by a bohemian tribe. From this trip, he obtained all sorts of very rare roses.. The leader of the tribe asked him to bring the roses back to Alsace, with the condition that he not fall in love with any of  women in the village. He kept this promise, but one of these girls of the Hungarian Tundra was crazily in love with him and prior to his departure, she drew him a rose. This drawing was a masterpiece and for a long time was preserved by the family.

And then there is the BAUMANN that traveled to India to retrieve the celebrated "Nepal Eisbeerbaum." which was then cultivated in the  BOLLWILLER nurseries.  Today, one can admire them in the PULVERSHEIM forest the centennial giants which came from the nurseries.

 The Baumann's purchased the forest land in 1832.  in 1847 and again in 1869 they sold the majority of this land to Nicolas Schlumberger, but retained the forest of the street of Staffelfelden which they had cleared and used for cultivating quality grape vines used for producing wine.

 Close to JUNGHOLTZ they cultivated vines on a sloping hill that produced  red and white wines; as for the quality, they rivaled the most exquisite of foreign wines.

The Baumann's horticultural efforts merited them awards of the highest honor:

-On April 14, 1822 -the Agricultural Society department of the Seine, under the direction of the chief inspector BOSC, of the royal nurseries, they were awarded a Gold Medal.

They earned the honor of distinguishing themselves as a horticultural establishment of France with many awards.

- the medal of His Majesty the III Emperor Napoléon in 1860,

- The highest honor from her Highness, Queen Victoria, of  England in 1859,

- Medals of various agricultural  ministries and many distinctions, quotations and prizes in the expositions of all countries.

The famed gardeners in this reputable house had a fame that surpassed the borders of our country (France).  The BAUMANN’s furnished head gardeners or  manager-gardeners to the royal classes and principalities (i.e.:  1837, the principality of Monaco, etc.) Their roses were very famous. They created numerous sorts of roses as the BAUMANN Bride, BIG James and a lot of others.

By their studies and experience, the Baumann's gained enormous knowledge on diagnosing and treatment of diseases and the fructification and pollination of fruit trees.. The BAUMANN family lived first in HARTMANNSWlLLER in the castle (Chateau) of FREUNDENSTEIN von Waldner. Today in HARTMANNSWILLER, there still remains part of a formerly very important orchard. One finds there very rare types of apple trees.

After the Revolution, the BAUMANN family was very fortunate since they  owned of vast lands of cultivation and many houses and properties in the town. Today the current pharmacy in town was once their residence.In addition, they  possessed the KOHLER house, the Holy-home, the property opposite the MULLER insurance company, the René GRUMBACH house on the street of Feldkirch. The  GAY house built in 1810 also belonged to the BAUMANN family.

The Emperor Napoléon, at the time of his numerous political and military movements,  once passed on the national road of BELFORT to STRASBURG. At the intersection of the New World,  formerly called Transval, he stopped to contemplate the nurseries of the BAUMANN family. A BAUMANN girl offered him a magnificent bouquet of roses. At this occasion,  François Joseph Baumann greets the Emperor and takes the opportunity of the occasion to request a favor from the Emperor. He asks of him not to enlist his youngest son into his service. The seven others already being enlisted in the army of the Emperor Napoléon. This favor was granted to him. Since and to our days, all the born first boys of the family carry the first name of Napoléon.

During his travel through Alsace,  king CharlesX  had been welcomed in pomp and circumstance to BOLLWILLER. On the sides of the road, in the stairways of several markets, there were placed  various arrangements of very rare, exotic plants, originating from the BAUMANN establishments .

Mademoiselles Julie and Josephine BAUMANN offered to the king an apple of  exceptional magnitude of the variety gray Reinette. The king accepted the fruit with real satisfaction. From this day, the gray Reinette carries the name of Gray Royale Reinette.

 Napoléon III passed a night with the BAUMANN’s during his travel in  Alsace in 1868. During his stay in  BOLLWILLER, he offered to the parish a magnificent picture that is located on the left side of the choir of the church

There be the brief history of an illustrious family of BOLLWILLER that marked the city to be celebrated in all Europe!

Thus goes life!





Article on the Baumann Family name from Bollwiller, France

Original creation of the General Council of Haut-Rhin

Baumann - Bumann - Bawman
Baumann, the man who cultivates, is a farmer. He owes his name with the old weak verb German " buwen " meaning to put in culture. The patronym is consequently rather frequent. In the valley of Munster, the term also corresponds to the person in charge of the village (dictionary of old Alsatian by F.J. Himly).
Known as of XIVe century in the Tyrol, the name also appears in Switzerland in various cantons. The historical and biographical dictionary of Switzerland devotes a significant note to Baumann. Present in XIVe century in the cantons of Saint-Gall, Zurich and Schaffhouse, they are also known in the canton of Bern (XVIIe), in Thurgovie (1560), like in the cantons of Lucerne (XVIIe), Appenzell (XVIIIe), Uri and Argovie (XIXe). **time-out** the family Baumann of Thurgovie carry " of mouth with a spearhead de lance of money pose in stake, on three coupeaux ", and that of canton of Zurich " leave of gold with a half eagle of sand and of sand with a man arm of gold on three mount of sinople ". The Gold Book of the Jura mentions of Baumann as of 1585, in which an established branch with Buix was originating in the Tyrol. Lastly, the armorial of the town of Basle gives the armorial bearings and the family tree of Baumann starting from a Jean de Schaffhouse (beginning of XVe). It is interesting to note alliances of the children of Jean with the families Halbeisen, Lidin, Volmis and Widerspach, four names known in Sundgau.
Baumann formed part, like so many of other families, of the great movement of the Swiss colonists towards bloodless Alsace after the Thirty Year old war. Work of fire Joseph Schurmann (Lücerner Auswanderer) gives invaluable indications on the sector of Lucerne. D' Ettiswil, Adam Baumann was fixed at Rouffach. De Rieden, Paul Baumann joined the same city. Veronique, girl of Nicolas Baumann de Rieden, was established in Sainte-Croix-en-Plaine, and Ulrich Baumann in Oberhergheim. Lastly, Joseph Baumann de Wikon came to Alsace without one knowing exactly where it fixed his residence. In XVIIe century, Baumann were present at Houssen where they were ploughmen, in Bollwiller where they became nursery gardeners, Wittelsheim, Fellering etc. In Mulhouse, the Baumann family is regarded as a former extinct family (Bürgerbuch of Nicolas Ehrsam). Let us mention here the marriage contract signed in September 1640 between Peter Bawman d' Illzach and Anna Brunner of Mulhouse.
Baumann lived in practically all the villages located on both sides imaginary line which one would trace between Eschentzwiller and Hégenheim. The list of the Alsatian refugees in Basle in year 1676, published by the company of history of Huningue, mentions carriers of the name with Hésingue, Kappelen, Sierentz, Michelbach-le-Haut, Stetten, Blotzheim, Brinckheim (Henri, the mayor) and Bartenheim.
Eschentzwiller shelters since good a long time of Baumann. They were in connection with those of Bruebach quoted as of 1505. In Eschentzwiller, they were blacksmiths: in 1681, not less than three Baumann exerted this trade there. In Kappelen, Clewin Bauman gave, towards 1598, its seven contribution batzen for the war against the Turks. Two centuries later, precisely in 1832, Michael Baumann built his house in the center of the village where one can still discover it today. Towards 1550, Heitzi Buman and his Barbara wife founded a mass anniversary in the church of Sierentz for the rest of their heart like that their parents and children. 
A branch of the family Baumann de Bartenheim settled in Guebwiller with Antoine Baumann, born in 1767, who married in Soultz the thirty frimaire of the year eight of the Republic (December 21, 1799) Marie-Thérèse Ulrich de Guebwiller. In Attenschwiller, Baumann were ploughmen. In 1686, Hans Baumann had married a Swiss woman of Frickthal there, Anna Hollinger (work of Suzanne Allemann). In XVIIIe century, they were always numerous in Attenschwiller.
In Blotzheim, several Baumann families were present at XVIIe century. Although mals held, the parochial registers indicate the presence of Baumann before the Thirty Year old war. November 19 1605, the priest celebrated the funeral oration of Christian Bawmann, teenager died in the war. Also let us quote Hans Geärg Bauwman whose house was estimated into 1680 at 450 pounds, currency of Basle. This good was burdened with a mortgage in favour of Emmanuel Schilling of Basle. Two years later was written the marriage contract which linked Peter Buman and Catharina Huning. In March 1685, the widow of Bauman Jacob made a donation in favour of her Anna daughter and her son-in-law Heinrich Bera. At that time, the lord of Blotzheim was called Urs Glutz. In 1688, it acquired of Agnes Werner, widow of Lienhard Bauman, a chènevière with the round of applause of Blotzheim. The Baumann-Werner marriage had been celebrated in Blotzheim in July 1658.
The village of Michelbach-le-Haut also sheltered a Baumann family. In 1675, Christian Bauman, widower, had married there Barbe Mettenberger in the presence of the mayor Gaspard Munch. One century later, Antoine and Barthelemy Baumann were reproduced on the list of the miliciables of the locality. In Ranspach-le-Bas, Maria Bawman de Kappelen had linked herself, in January 1620, in Franciscus Molitor (Muller). One year before, Jos Bauwman de Kiffis had married there Catharina Bilger de Bouxwiller. In Knoeringue, the old registers attest presence of Baumann from the very start of XVIIe century. In 1618, Henri Bawmann, originating in Kiffis, took there for woman the widow Salome Nickler de Steinsoultz. Other side of the " high road ", in Jettingen, Baumann are numerous. Towards 1690, the girl of Léonard Baumann de Jettingen married Hans Goetz resulting from an easy family of Altkirch. The parochial register of the baptisms of Jettingen comprises with the folio 17 eleven baptisms spreading out May 1726 at April 1727. Not less than five relate to the baptism of Baumann. One raises there the twins Jean and Anne Marie, children of the couple Jean-George Baumann and Anne Guligag.
As of 1632, Johannes Baumann was a mayor of Dornach, then common autonomous. Baumann always had significant stations with Dornach where they often acted in the name of Zu Rhein, lords of the village. At the beginning of XVIIe century, Caspar Baumann was the tax prosecutor of the locality and also landlord. It obtained for this purpose an authorization to output wine in 1724. The exhaustive examination of the marriages and the burials of the catholic parish of Dornach shows the importance of the family before the Revolution. One does not count there less than fifteen marriages whose husband is Baumann, originating in the place or coming from other horizons like Delémont, Zubben in Thurgovie, Munchhouse and Morschwiller-le-Bas. This last village was the place of residence of a Baumann family. She gave birth, in 1746, in Nicolas Baumann who was cleaned of Wittenheim and Zaessingue where he died in 1817 (KAMMERER).
In 1505, Hans Buman lived Bernwiller and owed an annual taxable quota in Mulhouse. This taxable quota was paid into 1573 per Peter Bauman de Bernwiller, probably descendant of Hans. At the time of the enumeration of 1659, Adolphe Bauman, 35 years old, was a ploughman with Bernwiller. The family seems disparaitre thereafter because it does not appear any more in the book of the families of Bernwiller. She appears then in Ammertzwiller where the genealogical tables mention six families in XVIIIe century. Not far from there, in Spechbach it High, Jacques and Michel Baumann are present at the time of the census of 1698. In 1662, the register-burrow of the goods which had the abbey of Oelenberg on the banns of Galfingue and Spechbach was renewed. Among the seven sworn of Spechbach-le-Haut which attended this significant operation, one notes the presence of Adolphe Bawmann.
In Dannemarie, the Baumann family is known as of the end of XVIIe century thanks to work of Louis Tschaen on prévôté of Traubach. We raise there in particular Victor Baumann, deceased about 1715, who had two wire, Victor and Joseph. Later, Antoine Baumann, merchant with Dannemarie, is reproduced on the family tree of the Haennig descendants being entitled to a grant with Freiburg-in-Brisgau (see the chapter devoted to this family). He had married Anne-Marie Ricklin, downward Haennig. Their eight children are reproduced on the tree in question. Among them, two became priests. The first, Joseph-Antoine, born in 1756, were a chaplain of Dannemarie. Taken refuge to Mariastein then with Constance during Terror, it left in 1799 to Bohemia then to Vienna and died with the country of Bade. His/her brother, Jean-Joseph, born in 1763, were a vicar of Dannemarie, also emigrated during Terror, then returned like priest of Altenach, Hochstatt and Huningue where it died in 1832.
Third Baumann, fore-mentioned Joseph, was also a priest. Born in Dannemarie in 1748 from Jean-Baptiste and Marie Richert, it was ordered in 1773. Cleaned of Murbach, it left also its native land not to have to lend the revolutionary oath. Of return in 1802, it was cleaned of Gueberschwihr starting from 1805, village where it died out in 1826 (KAMMERER).
Let us mention finally the presence of Hans Bauwman in Soppe-le-Bas of them 1562 and the existence of a Baumann family in Hecken and Gildwiller in XVIIIe century, with a thought for Joseph Baumann, historian of Thann, which was proud of its sundgauviennes roots.


NOTE: This report of the Central Park, originally written by Eugene A. Baumann, has been retyped in the fashion which it was written with the following modifications. Punctuation and the correction of some spelling has been made, for the simplification of reading. Where there may be a blank line, the original word could not be deciphered.

In compliance with your desire of having a correct-report-of my opinion on the condition of the work done on the Central Park as well as any personal opinion in a practical view of the matter and suggestions thereon, I have the honor to submit to you this Memorandum.

I made irregular visits to the Central Park ground on the fifth, 8th, 11th, 13th, 18th, 19th, and 27 days of December and on the 5th of January last. The first visits I made I was alone. Not being able this season of the year to judge correctly of many things I referred to Messrs. Plas and Ficher for information and with their assistance I was able to judge better than otherwise.

I have for several years felt the highest interest in the Central Park and although not frequently I followed season by season the great work going on.

I must say that on considering the whole there has been no improvement of much importance done any where else with so much care and such an intention to make it permanent economical and pleasing for future times as the work done by your honorable commission. The complete finish of the drives, the paths, and the Bridal Road, or ride as also their durability are completely confirmed by examinations made in the various seasons of the year and leave nothing to the desired.

The general system of drainage is an improvement which under any circumstances deserved the highest praise as well in respect to making the place a very healthy one for the population of New York as advantageous for the keeping in condition and for the success of the planting.

The natural features of the ground by themselves perfected by the above improvement could under the care of your commission and assorted by men of practical knowledge and artisical taste not fail to give such fine a result by itself.

But the additional improvements consisting in the distribution of the drives, walks, and the ride crossing each other by the means of the bridge makes out of the Central Park a condensed assemblage of every kind of recreation and exercise and relaxation which otherwise could not have been created on the area.

During the period of travels some eight years back I had an opportunity of examining most the of th important places public and private in Europe I dare say that I am more or less acquainted with all the important ones except in Spain and Russia. Many of these places may show some artistical conception that may be missed in the Central Park each single one may in consequence of the natural features of the ground or of a particular intention to curry out. Special views produce some creations that may not met with here but in justice I say that the Central Park offers in general by itself more of any kind of improvements and points of attraction than any one of all the other public or private places.

Of drainage generally there is a great want everywhere and although this is not an apparent object-I consider it to be the most important of all I can see it works with perfection here.

The part already finished to say of the Park south of 79th street must convince every man of practical knowledge and of taste that this is generally so. The preparing of the ground is also one of the improvements that I have to mention. I had during my visits opportunities to consider the careful way this is done everywhere.

There is not doubt that the planting must show very shortly ______ as the ________

result of the careful preparation of the soil and the great care taken for the trees and shrubs and their planting.

This remark applies more to the lower park but if many of the preliminary preparation seem to have been made there more thoroughly than in such parks now under the spade I think that with a system of planting of a different and only practical method the result-will not be less successful I should think rather it would it would be more a successful besides being more economical in any way. The planting by itself is well distributed and can not fail to show soon a very artistic effect-there harmonious connection of various kinds of trees and shrubs evergreen and deciduous ones which show the skill of the leading hand on this department. There are certainly to be suggested from my knowledge of practical landscape gardening from amendments or alterations which I intend to introduce in my report.

In taking the liberty of doing so I intend in no way to say that the work as it is progressing will not answer thoroughly every want of the public and that of most men of good taste and sense but there is a susceptibility of improvements in some parts.

On the walks, the drives, and the ride in some places some little defects, in the correctness of the outlines this was certainly depending somewhat upon the locality and an unavoidable circumstances. Planting alone will give you the means to remedy these in the easiest and cheapest way.

In some places where the drive ride and the walks meet together a dense planting ought to make the junction less precept able. In open and exposed places, tops of hills, XX (double) the planting to be successful out to be made denser with a smaller class of plant or better to say with younger specimens supported by a good system of staking. Where rudds or drives ride or pather over bridges are crossing each other the planting ought to be so as to make the architectural beauties the more conspicuous.

Often this can not be done in one way without interfering with the other but in such cases I should clarify the one with the other. In several places the width of the drives is very conspicuous for riders or person in carriages it will not produce effect that will be noticed by pedestrians an improvement by a planting of more shade trees and such places will remedy this sharing the bareness perceived by ________ without injuring the fine effect-upon persons ridiing.

On the green admitting that it may be destined for a parade ground I think that by increasing the density of foliage and shade around the place to the extent from 30 to 40 feet from the drives and the paths it would leave room enough for parading and would make the place a resort of greater attraction and comfort.

This better consideration is the more desirable in my judgement as these will be a great tendency to the gathering of the people towards the Wall, the concourse and there around. It required this additional planting mostly on the two drives west of the mall between 66th and 70th Street. By shading more densely along the walk which runs parallel with the drive east and northeast of the green then there will be nothing to present the same gathering of person on that ride also and this tends to accomplish the object of the mall itself which I ______ to be made to make it the general Renn ___ of people upon occasional great demonstration.

A more dense planting if done in the right way will not be in contradiction with the idea of leaving distant views and wide openings in every direction over the green. Openings left where required will continue to show the same distant views rather better as there will be a more contrasting foreground.

A very important addition would be the planting of more evergreens on the souther shore of the lake partly on the northern portion of pond at opposite the rise in a hill of about 6th Ave. This is quite necessary in an artistic view as it will help immensely to reduce the glare produced by the reflection of the sun and thus darken the water and relive the promenader who will find naturally more attraction to examine the landscape. As the ground rises from south to north the most extensive and picturesque view will naturally appear in the opposite direction which is not exactly the point in which a landscape appears in it’s best light.

Therefore I think this improvement-a very important I have to say a necessary one. The Character of the Ramble in it’s present and future condition suggests as only observation in regard to planting in so far as the quantity of native trees must sometimes take the lead over newly planted shrubs.

Many of the native trees are of kinds that will in a few years grow to be a large size and present the success of the lower shrubs most of them have been met there in the shape of bush wood and shrubs for having formally always been cut and thus kept down. The additional plants have been selected to match in size for the present, but shrubs will have to remain shrubs forever of a more or less size, and the trees will grow larger.

Shrubs that are naturally under shrubs will not suffer in the company of these larger trees. They will rather be a pleasing addition but there are many who will not succeed in the same way, that are not to be employed as under shrubs and I think it advisable to help this future change by removing gradually from the vicinity of the mentioned trees these shrubs and have them only on the places where there are less or not trees at all.

Thus the change will not appear at once, but in the national character which will show itself late, without injuring the beauty of the place would nature to a great advantage to a nearer period.

I notice in the system of preparing the land, and the laying out of the walks, and the planting, as it is done _______of the old reservoir, and all along the 8th Avenue as also west and east of the new reservoir, an improvement in the way it is done, which admits of a favorable and advantageous comparison with some of the formerly finished parts; there is more Ensemble in the general arrangement and the planting is more judicious.

Without criticizing the former operations, I conclude in this judgment from the way the planting has been done, and think that it will show very soon a more perfect success.

In the above mentioned places, the planting has been done with more young plants, without mentioning a better and harmonious disposition of the grouping.

Planting with smaller trees and shrubs in an operation of such magnitude, would have been under any consideration the most advantageous.

I am far from intending to say that larger trees may not be employed, where they can be procured near the place; I say on the contrary that they can be employed to great advantage for simple plantings.

But in masses young trees and shrubs and principally evergreen ones, ought to be employed in preference in so far as succeeding more generally, the masses grow up in a more complete way together, and the intermingling of limbs and of the foliage, will be what it should be.

With large trees employed for that purpose there will be too many losses; too much time required for the planting; it requires frequent filling up the ranks, and the masses themselves never show complete, nor connected, nor natural.

In cases of evergreens employed in masses, the trees should be of various sizes, to not show like a nursery; if of the same size in one group, in growing fro a long time too much alike they require many years to show a natural appearance but used of different sizes, say of from 2 and 1/2 to 3 feet up to 6 or 8 feet-the larger ones in a small proportion employed in the rear, or like center, or scattered on the outskirts, it will show directly a natural growth.

The planting of single trees ought to be done with a different way of staking and fastening, which operation is of the highest importance.

A provision of stakes of various sizes according to the size of the trees and shrubs, ought to be always on hand.

These stakes can be best employed for staking out the plating-and their size will in the same time indicate the size of the tree or shrub, and the proportionate hole that will have to be prepared.

Once the holes opened, the stake ought to be drive into the undisturbed subsoil where it will remain firm, but not after the planting.

The planting will have to be made in a way to bring the shaft, or the stem as near as possible to the stake, by arranging the roots accordingly to fit.

The ties also require a particular care as the first one, directly after the planting, ought to be made loose enough allowing the tree to slide down with the earth that settles after the first rain, some two or three inches. Once the ground returned to it’s natural density, the tree will have to be tied firm, near the ground on the top, and once or twice along the shaft.

This alone works well preventing every tree from being shaken by the wind, when foliage commences to produce some weight on the top, and young fibers begin to grow on the roots: if these latter in consequence of the shaking of the top are broken, off, the trees live only by chance.

A very important addition to the belts or groups will be the introduction of certain varieties of hardy herbaceous plants and bulbous plants. If employed in the foreground of the groups, at a certain distance from the paths, on the drives, they will produce early in spring a variety of foliage and flowers which can not fail to please in a moment when fine days invite already the visitors, but when the foliage of trees and shrubs is still behind, or begins to show only the fastidious light green tints of the same weakness all over the place.

These herbaceous plants and bulbs ought to be used mostly in masses of but two or three kinds at one place by mixing them too much they lose their character and will not help to enhance the beauty.

The most recommendable of this family are the following varieties, Chrysanthemums, Ansonias, Yucca folamentosa and others, Silurim candidum, tiguinism, Cancefoliums, Superbus and Delochiniums, Acouitums, Drawcephalum, Funkisa, Flemerocalles, Trio, Gysophylla, agrin Cegias, Asarum, Asclepios, Lobrhias, Supunis, Saeonia officinalis, Phlox, Rheunons, Potentilla, herbas, Sprracas, Veromeas, Frittittlaria, Naruforrs and many other ones.

On the wooded parts north of the New Reservoir I notice some of the outskirts running too much in straight lines, principally on a point near the intersection line of 103rd St and 6th Ave. which requires diversifying.

These same wooded parts will soon be cleared and thinned out. As the selection of the tree growing therein is limited to the number of native trees, and as these may be always found in groups of a predominating number of specimen of the same variety or kinds, grown together, the thinning out ought to be done of the principle of large masses of foliage of the same character and tint, intermingles sparingly with a limited number of another contrasting type.

Most of these trees being tall growing kinds I think that they might be kept in the style of shady groves (Bosquets of Bocugus on what the german calls Flame) by clearing the undergrowth clear and free from shrubbery.

Shrubbery having been already introduced in the largest part of the lower park, the above feature would be rather a desirable one as I don’t meet it anywhere else.

To conclude with my connotations about the planting, permit me finally, Sir, to allude to the pruning of the trees and shrubs, heretofore done every winter.

The operation of pruning in of itself a very important one, in so far as it strengthens the growth developing stronger roots, shafts, and limbs but after the first pruning which should be done at the moment of planting, and a second one after the first years growth. I should generally speaking, stop any further pruning and abandon the shape of trees and shrubs to nature.

Frequent pruning if done in the customary way can not fail to give the plant too formal shape, and after a certain number of years in plan of a natural character, they will show more of less a formal round shaped top over a pair of others.

It is certainly quite different with of which it is indented to make specimen of a particular character as it is principally the case in some English parks and on which the gardener to exercise his art for several years.

I should advise the introduction of this method for a certain number of specimen on the Southern Park mainly around the wall. Some Linden, Norway Maples, European Sycamore trees, Oaks also will ________ at the distance of some 7 or 8 feet above ground. May have their lower limbs trained horizontally on rods for four or more years which being kept behind on the vertical growing ones by yearly pruning till the trained limbs will show strength enough to sustain themselves in a horizontal position.

In this way there will be specimen produced which in such places are generally the most striking curiosities, without having anything of an extra natural character, and their far extending branches running horizontally over the smooth lawn will offer a pleasing shade in the open ground, beside a shelter of fine foliage which many persons will prefer to an artificial protection against the sun.

I remember having seen such trees, naturally grown in the east along the Bosphorous, which with probably some other tropical trees, have certainly punished the English artists with the idea of imitating them.

The trees I saw and which are the admiration of every visitor are of the Platanus orientatis, which is profitable not hardy the above mentioned kinds will very well answer in their place.

In regard to any matter not included within my specialty, I beg you Sir, to excuse me from making any allusion. Therefore I leave all remarks on architectural production out of my report, and conclude by mentioning at last observations. I have to make, but which is not of the smallest importance.

I mean to speak of the lake. The very fine and extensive sheet of water south of the Ramble and north of the most attractive mall, called by the above name, does not in my opinion show what it ought to. That vertical stonewall running all around it, checking or rather hurting the eye in every direction where it meets the opposite shore at or near a right angle is too much artificial for a lake.

The character of a lake, should be that of a natural one, the character of a pond may be natural or artificial.

The most natural boundaries should always be the necessary surroundings of a lake; in plan of this vertical stonewall, there should be a paring with pebbles, slightly inclined in a angle of about 10 degrees forming the transition between the water and the lawn, or plantings and somewhat similar to a graveled shore. This paring might cover the whole width of space between high and low water, and from any point you might consider it. It will never show what the vertical wall shows, it will not attract any attention, because the inclined plan will at a certain distance disappear and at high water principally, the only transition between water and land will be either the small and gentle billowing of the water, or the grass and plants growing on the edge.

By rising the water level above the wall the aim could be obtained, but it would not answer the arrangement made expressly for skaters.

But I should think that by bringing the stonewall below low water mark, and employing this _______ bid instead of the walk used by the skaters, it would improve the lake immensely.

In comparing the pond with the lake it is easy to perceive the defect on the latter. The pond looks very much like a natural lake, but this looks a good deal like a pond, and a very artificial one, too.

Something alike may occur at the new piece of water in course of construction in the northern park on about 103rd and 106th St and 7th Ave.

There exists the most charming natural disposition for arranging, with very little artificial help, one of the finish part of the park. The shape of the ground, as already intended to be made so, furnishes a remarkable opportunity for a romantique mountain stress in which the water may alternately be shown in all its tormented and tumultuous movements, or in it’s quietude either jumping over bold rocks or laying or advancing lazily through the shady dale.

All around, the scenery in every respect is in harmony with the above idea, and it’s wants but skill to make the few artificial additions accordingly but from what I can judge, the work of construction already commenced on the waterfalls will not be what is required and must fail to satisfy a good judge.

There is some rockwork in the ramble that few persons after some years will recognize as artificial projections but this last one will always show a very inferior arrangement the quality of the rocks and the very unnatural imper position of them being not what they should be.

This Sir, is the condensed but accurate report of the impression made on my mind, by what I have seen on the grounds of the Central Park and my judgements of such parts as are finished or in course of operation.

I have not thought necessary to go into any further details about minor questions in order not to lengthen my report.

In suggesting to your mind any useful or practical thought herein, I trust, Sir, you will not construe my ingeniousness to my disadvantage or as presumption as my intention in doing so has been to try to reflect in plain language the inspiration and thoughts arising en pa plants from the he works of your creation.

Most respectfully submitted,

Eug. A. Baumann

Morrisania, New York January 13th, 1863

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L'Alsace article on the Baumann Family history


CDHF document on the history of the Baumann Family

Central Park: A memorandum from  Eugene A. Baumann