Lewis & Valentine company records, 1916-1971
AAG.LVC

Summary
Collection ID:
AAG.LVC
Creators:
Lewis & Valentine Company.
Lewis, Hewlett Withington
Dates:
1916-1971
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
2.5 cubic feet
documents, 366 photographs, 1 videotape.
Repository:
Archives of American Gardens
The Lewis & Valentine Company Collection contains records of the Lewis & Valentine Company dating from 1916 to 1971 including photographs, negatives, brochures, books, trade catalogs, company papers, letters from clients, customer lists and a history of the company written by Harold Carman Lewis. Photographs document the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, estates in Long Island, New York, and the properties of Hugh D. Auchincloss, Eugene du Pont, Walter P. Chrysler, Otto H. Kahn, F. W. Woolworth, Pierre S. du Pont (Longwood Gardens), Charles M. Schwab and Edward T. Stotesbury. This collection contains only a sampling of the records of Lewis & Valentine and should not be considered comprehensive.

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged into 3 series:
Series 1: Documents Series 2: Photographs Series 3: Videotape

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Specializing in moving and replanting large trees, Lewis & Valentine was one of the most prominent landscape contracting companies in the eastern United States during the first half of the twentieth century. The Lewis & Valentine Company was formed by five brothers whose father had hoped that his sons would grow up to be lawyers. Instead, the Lewis brothers formed a landscape design, installation and nursery firm that specialized in developing "successful methods for transplanting full-grown trees." Their success was based on "doing well the task which is usually considered impossible."
The company was the inspiration of H.C. Lewis, the oldest of seven brothers, who believed that estate owners should have the luxury of immediate landscapes, rather than waiting decades for their landscapes to mature. The Lewis brothers started their business in the early 1900s. Shortly afterwards, a Mr. Valentine, roommate of Albert Addison Lewis at the Amherst Landscape School in Massachusetts, invested in the business. After three years Mr. Valentine moved on and the Lewis brothers bought back his interest, but continued to keep Valentine part of the company's name.
Lewis & Valentine was the largest firm in America devoted to transplainting mature trees in the years leading up to the Great Depression. It claimed to be "the most experienced and most versatile, backed by an intimate knowledge of horticulture and the development of fine estates." The company was noted as a leader in providing complete landscape services, from selling and guaranteeing the plants, to designing and installation, requiring that its staff be men "of good character and not afraid of hard work." This was evident in the firm's principle of no limitations to the size of trees that they were willing to deliver. The trees were often full-grown and ranged in age from twenty to a hundred years old. Many were so large that 20 or more tons of earth had to be moved during the relocation process.
During its first 25 years in business, Lewis & Valentine opened nineteen offices east of the Mississippi serving such notable clients as Charles A. Schwab and Pierre du Pont at his estate, Longwood. The business was set up as an organization of independent companies. Each was incorporated under the laws of the state in which it operated. The offices were located in Connecticut (Darien), Florida (Palm Beach), Illinois (Chicago), Maryland (Baltimore), Massachusetts (Boston and Hanover), Michigan (Detroit), Pennsylvania (Ardmore and Pittsburg), New Jersey (Ashbury Park and Morristown), New York (Buffalo, Roslyn-Long Island, Rye, Valley Stream-Long Island, New York City), North Carolina (Winston-Salem) and Ohio (Cleveland and Cincinnati). Although no longer owned by any members of the Lewis family, the company still exists and operates in Long Island under the name Lewis & Valentine Nurseries.

Administration
Processing information note
The records were processed in 2000 and updated in 2003.
Encoded by Rihoko Ueno, December 2011.
Author
Finding aid prepared by Marca Woodhams
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
Gift from Hewlett Withington Lewis, former owner of Lewis & Valentine Nurseries.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
Access to original images by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Conditions Governing Use note
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens.
Preferred Citation note
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, Lewis & Valentine Company Records.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Auchincloss, Hugh D. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chrysler, Walter P. (Walter Percy), 1909- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
du Pont, Eugene Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
du Pont, Pierre S. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kahn, Otto Hermann, 1867-1934 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lewis & Valentine Company. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lewis & Valentine Nurseries, Inc. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lewis, Harold Carman Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Longwood Gardens (Kennett Square, Pa.). Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rodin Museum (Philadelphia, Pa.). Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Schwab, Charles M., 1862-1939 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stotesbury, Edward T. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Woolworth, F. W. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Books Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brochures Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gardens--New York (State) Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Landscape gardening--New York (State) Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lists Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New York (State)--Greenvale Geographical Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New York (State)--Roslyn Geographical Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nurseries (Horticulture)--United States Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Trade catalogs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tree moving Subject Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Videotapes Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Gardens
P.O. Box 37012
Capital Gallery, Suite 3300, MRC 506
Washington, DC, 20013-7012
Phone: 202-633-5840
aag@si.edu