R.C. “Dick” Palmer was the head of the Summerland Research Station. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)

Palmer worked with apple breeding program in Summerland

Horticulturalist initiated the apple breeding and the clonal rootstock programs in 1920s

By David Gregory

Richard Claxton Palmer, who worked with apple breeding at the research station in Summerland, was born in Victoria B.C. in 1897.

His father was renowned horticulturalist Richard Mason Palmer (1859-1940.)

The senior Palmer played a central role in the formation of the B.C. Fruit Growers Association. He later became British Columbia’s deputy of Agriculture (1909-1911.)

When Sir Thomas Shaughnessy considered establishing an agricultural community in the Okanagan Valley (Summerland), he consulted R.M. Palmer. He had three sons, Frank, Horace and Richard.

READ ALSO: Old Christmas card has ties to Summerland agriculture

READ ALSO: Summerland: These ornamental gardens will delight you, and so will the admission fee

Frank Palmer chose an almost identical path as brother Richard.

Frank became the director of the Vineland Research Station in Ontario. His career spanned more than 40 years.

Some of the plant species developed by the Vineland Research Station were named starting with the letter V.

A similar tradition was used at the Summerland Research Station, using the letter S.

At the age of 19, Richard ‘Dick’ Palmer (junior) enlisted in the Canadian Army in 1916 and fought in the battle of Passchendaele (November 1917.)

In 1920, he began his career at the Summerland Research Station.

As assistant superintendent under W.T. Hunter, Dick was active in the community and frequently wrote horticultural articles for the Summerland Review.

In July 1924 he married Marjorie C Mathieson.

In that same year, Palmer initiated the apple breeding and the clonal rootstock programs.

He became the spokesman and primary supporter of the Summerland Fall Fair (which in those days was celebrated in June and called the Farm Picnic.)

In the history of Summerland’s agricultural fairs, the largest attendances were at these farm picnics in the 1930s.

In 1927, Dick Palmer introduced defined harvesting dates for apples with the intent of reducing breakdown in storage.

A year later, Palmer he did the same thing with harvesting dates for peaches.

In 1932, after a short exchange program to England, he returned to Summerland and became the Summerland Research Station’s third superintendent.

He introduced tuberous begonias and many strains of chrysanthemums and new varieties of gladioli.

In 1949, Palmer was honoured as Summerland’s Good Citizen of the Year.

He died from a heart attack at work in March 1953.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

history

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Richard Mason Palmer played a central role in the formation of the B.C. Fruit Growers Association. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)

Frank Palmer was the director of the Vineland Research Station in Ontario. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Sad ending in case of missing Vernon senior

Body of Wayne Orser found floating in Okanagan Lake Tuesday, July 7

Vernon murder case back in court

Voir dire held for one of two accused in death of William Bartz in July 2017

North Okanagan district shifts attention to wildfire season

FireSmart, Grab-and-Go Bags and emergency planning among tips for wildfire preparedness

Vernon police deem car fire ‘suspicious’

A vehicle was fully involved last night on 24th Avenue, cause still unknown

Lake Country home destroyed by fire

Call came in from Teresa Road just after 6 a.m. Tuesday, July 7

84-year-old Okanagan resident finishes 12,000-piece puzzle

Willie Tribiger started the puzzle in 2013, completing it in six and a half years

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Princeton ATV rider slapped with numerous charges after complaint of near miss on the KVR

‘I would never defend actions like that’ - Ed Vermette, Princeton ATV Club president

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

West Kelowna RCMP searching for suspects after stolen vehicle dumped

Police found the stolen pickup truck in the backcountry

Former Kelowna football player drowns in Fraser River

Kory Nagata went missing in the middle arm of the river

Anarchist Mountain Fire Department extinguishes ‘flaming river’ on Highway 3

Blaze caused by truck that caught fire and leaked diesel across the road

Speedboat driver sentenced in fatal Shuswap houseboat collision granted day parole

Leon Reinbrecht began serving a three-year sentence in a federal prison in January 2019

Most Read