Sacramento County

Biographies


 

 

 

 

MERRITT C. PIKE

 

 

††††† MERRITT C. PIKE, of Brighton Township, has a ranch of 310 acres, all improved; 235 acres are in orchard and the rest in vineyard. The orchard comprises apricots, peaches, French prunes, plums, etc. Of peach-trees he has about 15,000; of plums and prunes, 9,000; about ten acres are in almonds. Ages of fruit-trees, from four to eight years. The vineyard embraces Tokays, Muscats and other table varieties, and of Zinfandels, Carignanes, Materos and Petit Bourger and other wine varieties, one to four years old. In 1888 he sold 24,600 boxes of wrapped fruit; had twenty-six tons of dried fruit, two tons of almonds from four-year old trees, and also sold $2,000 worth of undried fruit to the cannery. He has also an acre and a half of blackberries, which produce 500 crates annually, worth in market 75 cents to $1.25 per crate. There are bout a 1,000 trees along the driveway, and bordering the ranch all around. During the busy season of wrapping and drying he gives employment to fifty-five to sixty men. Has a twenty-five-horse-power engine to supply steam in connection with the two steam driers, costing $884 each; capacity, twelve tons of fresh fruit every twenty-four hours. Each drier has 120 trays. The main building of the drying establishment is 24 x 60 feet, with two wings 20 x 24 feet, for storing. There are also a packing-house and other buildings. Of this place he purchased 190 acres in 1877 of G. G. Briggs, and 120 acres of J. T. Wight in 1885. The purchases were made by Montgomery Pike, Sr., and M. C. Pike, in 1877, who ran the business until January 1, 1888, when Montgomery Pike, Jr., bought his fatherís interest, and for a while the business was carried on under the firm name of Pike Brothers, until W. S. Kendall, of Sacramento, bought Montgomery Pikeís (Jr.) interest. At first the land was all heavily timbered with live oak, jack oak and willow. There are two kinds of soil: the bottom land is a deep, sandy loam, adapted to peaches, plums and apricots; the upland is the clay loam, good for grapes and almonds, never baking, and easily worked at any time of year. Mr. Pike was born in Jefferson county, Iowa, December 2, 1859. His father, Montgomery Pike, first came to California in the spring of 1873, and made arrangements for the family; they came the next autumn. He is now residing in Santa Barbara County, engaged in raising fruit. Mrs. Pike died in 1886. The family comprise Elias, born in Indiana; Jennison, born also in Indiana, and is a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Iowa; Mary O., who died in 1882; Annie M., born in Iowa, now Mrs. McEwing, in Santa Barbara County; M. C., the subject of this sketch; and Montgomery, born also in Iowa. The latter owned a coal mine in Kirkville, Wapello County, Iowa, and ran it about four years; and since that time has been engaged here in the fruit and vegetable business. October 15, 1885, M. C. Pike married Lizzie A. Shields, daughter of John Shields, of this county. 

 

 

Transcribed 11-17-07 Marilyn R. Pankey.

Source: Davis, Hon. Win. J., An Illustrated History of Sacramento County, California. Pages 640-641. Lewis Publishing Company. 1890.


© 2007 Marilyn R. Pankey.

 

 

 



Sacramento County Biographies