John B. Lager

John B. Lager of Lager & Hurrell in Summit, NJ was one of the very first orchid growers in the US. The business was founded by his father, John E. Lager, a Swedish immigrant who at one time, worked at Kew Gardens in England. John E. arrived in the US in 1816. He met his future wife (John B.s mother) while on an orchid hunting expedition in Columbia. John B. Lager built up the business to the point where it was known as THE most exciting orchid business in the country. He was a founder of the North Jersey Orchid Society and was instrumental in introducing NJOS to the Wm. Pitt restaurant in Chatham where meetings were once held. An earlier, smaller Short Hills Mall was the place where the annual shows were held. He is remembered by friends for his generosity in every respect, being lavish with his time and never hesitating to show all comers through the greenhouses. If someone admired a particular plant, often it would be handed to him before he left. Each year he would award a prize to the person who had grown the best orchid in the NJOS show. The prizes were indeed substantial: In 1966, it was a round trip for two to the World Orchid Congress in California. First class!

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