• History of Luther Burbank
    Luther Burbank Photo

    Luther Burbank (1849-1926) was sometimes called the 'Plant Magician' for his experimental work with plants. He lived in Santa Rosa, California. He is famous for the Shasta Daisy, the Spineless Cactus and the Burbank Potato. Our school is named for Luther Burbank.

    Luther Burbank was a plant breeder and horticulturist, developed many new trees, fruits, flowers, vegetables, grains, and grasses. He also improved many plants and trees already known. Many common foods we eat every day come from his experiments.

    Burbank was born in Lancaster, Mass., on March 7, 1849. He was interested in nature from boyhood. He studied in the town academy and was stimulated by the works of Charles Darwin. He became a gardener to support his widowed mother. His curiosity led him to experiment with plants. He learned their inherited traits and tried to improve each new crop.

    Burbank moved to California in 1875, and settled in Santa Rosa. He saved money to buy land for a nursery. In a few years, he owned a prosperous business. Not interested in business, he sold his nursery in 1893, and set up an experimental farm at nearby Sebastopol, California. His home in Santa Rosa had many rare trees, shrubs, and flowers.

    Luther Burbank never visited our District, but his wife did and she gave us the gift of a signed portrait of her husband which hangs in our school office today. During her visit she also participated in a tree planting ceremony in honor of her husband.  The tree stood on campus for many many years, however, due to recent modernization of the campus the tree had to be removed.

    Luther Burbank Photo