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CHARLES L. KALER. – A real pioneer of the pioneers, who has wrought on the Pacific coast for forty years and more with display of energy and skill that have placed him among the leaders of the county in attaining its progress, the well-known gentleman, whose name is at the head of this article is deserving of representation in the volume of his county’s history. He is proprietor of the large green house in Lagrande and handles one of the largest nurseries of the state, having a full line of all varieties of both ornamental trees and rare shrubs and flowers.
Mr. Kaler was born in Waldoborough, Maine, being the son of Charles L. and Mary Kaler, both of whom died when he was very young. His childhood days were spent with a neighbor, and when nine years had rolled by he inaugurated independent action and set out to Vermont, returning later to Maine, thence to Florida and again returning to Maine and then to San Francisco, where he spent two years. The next trip was to Vancouver Island, whence he made his way to the Caribou mines and four years were spent there in search for gold. He came back to Westminster, through Olympia and Cowlitz to Portland, thence to Salem, Mooney’s station, Waldo Butte and Umatilla, in which latter place he remained for a number of years, then repaired to Old Lagrande, and a few years after that time he went to Clove creek and took up a ranch, now known as the Willow Glen. Upon this farm he has placed much improvement. He has a nursery of one-half million trees, embracing all the kinds of flowers and nut trees that are used in this country, besides all of the smaller fruits and ornamental shrubs and trees and many rare specimens, as the Acacia, from Mount Sinai, pineapples, bananas, pepper, coffee, tea, ginger, oranges, lemons, plants from the Canary Islands, silk oak from Australia, bamboo, a dozen kinds of palms, and many others too numerous to describe, which are kept in stock both in the nursery and a large green house that he has provided for the purpose. In addition to this, Mr. Kaler has constructed a large, artificial lake, that is perfectly round and surrounded with beautiful shade trees and fine walks which make it a place of real comfort and artistic beauty. Many thousands of dollars were spent in this work, and Willow Glen is justly renowned as one of the most beautiful spots of the county. In addition to this Mr. Kaler has a large green house in the city of Lagrande where he makes his headquarters, and he justly holds rank with the most capable business men of the section. Mr. Kaler has many personal accomplishments that are very becoming and entertaining, as for instance his ability to handle with credit any musical instrument that comes to his hand, being in earlier days a master in music. He is esteemed among his fellows and is the recipient of the confidence and respect of all, which is fully merited.