Forest Home LeConte Pear Tree
Forest Home LeConte pear tree
Pears on Forest Home tree
Pears on Forest Home tree

LeConte Pear

The LeConte pear was named after John Eatton LeConte who introduced it to Georgia in 1856.

An orchard of LeConte pear trees has been established at LeConte-Woodmanston.

The following information, provided by Frank Wadsworth, tells of a historic home and its LeConte pear tree.

The old LeConte pear tree was planted at "Forest Home" in 1879. The home was built in 1840 in Macon County, Alabama. To visit "Forest Home" is to begin a fascinating journey back to the days of early Alabama statehood. One even catches a glimpse of Alabama when it was an untracked territory populated by tribes of the Creek Indian Nation.

Major James Howard, born in 1776, son of Nehemiah Howard, moved to Alabama from Elbert County, Georgia. In 1830 he purchased a 1000 acre tract of land from the Creek Indians. He subsequently bought land surrounding that tract to eventually own 10,000 acres. Major James Howard married Tabitha Motley. One of their sons, Dr. Robert Henry Howard, was deeded 1000 acres of land surrounding the present house site. Dr. R.H. Howard first married Rebecca Hurt. They lived in a log house close to the "old well" located approximately one and a half miles south of the present house. "Forest Home" was built in 1840 for Dr. Howard's second wife, Cornelia Rebecca Lamar.

The original Howard home, probably one of the oldest in Macon County, now stands on 186 acres of land. Fronting on historic Old Federal Road, now erased by time, the Howard home is unusual not only for its age and durability, but because it is one of the rare Alabama homes in which the direct line of a family has lived continuously for five generations. It is also noteworthy that the occupants have had the original family name. The Old Federal Road ran from Columbus, GA to Mims Ferry and on to Natchez, Mississippi. In Macon County the Old Federal Road crossed Little Charlie Creek, ran in front of "Forest Home" turned west and ran thence across Calebree Creek. There were stories about Confederate soldiers stopping from their travels on the Old Federal Road to set up camp in the fields that surrounded "Forest Home".

The LeConte pear tree was planted in the front yard in 1879.  It came from Smarrs, GA and was planted by Loretto Norwood, Dr. Crawford Motley Howard's sister. Dr. C.M. Howard was Frank Wadsworth's great grandfather. Mr. Wadsworth mentioned that "his grandmother had people from all over the area come to the house requesting some of the best pears that they had ever eaten". He said he "has never found a pear that will compare to the fruit from that pear tree. As kids we would sit in  the front porch swing and enjoy eating the pears. They had the softest texture of any pear I have eaten".

To get further information concerning the LeConte pear tree mentioned and view a photo gallery go to Frank Wadsworth's web site.