Stark Bros. Nursery | New London, Missouri
The Missouri-based nursery was founded in 1816 by James Hart Stark, a young Kentucky pioneer who homesteaded on shores of the Mississippi near what would become Louisiana, Mo., about 90 miles north of St. Louis, MO. Stark brought with him a bundle of apple-tree scions, which he grafted and planted in the area.
Descendants of the original Stark family owned and operated the business until 1994, when they sold it to Foster & Gallagher, Inc., a large mail-order corporation. Less than a decade later, Foster & Gallagher filed for bankruptcy. On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Stark Bro’s was sold at auction to Cameron Brown and Tim Abair, the current owners.
During World War II, German prisoners of war were housed in Louisiana, Mo and provided a big part of the work force for Stark Bros Nurseries. Those who worked at Stark's worked along side these POW's.
The companies original and continuing mission can be summed up in this statement by Edgar Stark in 1916, "So it has been that ever since 1816, the name of Stark Bro’s has stood for all that grew best in nature for the good of mankind. This is our heritage, and this is our task – our duty: the preservation of this good reputation, the continuation of the public faith in the integrity of every promise, every claim, every product that Stark Bro’s offers.”
In 1952, The original Pioneer cabin built by James Stark was moved from a nearby hill, restored and opened as a museum.