Pioneer nurseryman, horticulturist, sericulturist, and writer
Felix Gillet (born March 25, 1835, Rochefort, Charente-Maritime, France; died January 27, 1908, Nevada City, California, United States) was a California pioneer nurseryman, horticulturist, sericulturist, and writer who made several important introductions of superior European deciduous fruit and nut trees to California and the northwestern United States. Beginning in 1869, on his Barren Hill Nursery in Nevada City, Gillet cultivated his own imported scion wood and home-grown nursery stock, experimented with grafting and hybridizing, and continually wrote articles on horticulture and his plant selections, while remaining active in Nevada City civic affairs.1 Publishing his own nursery catalog for 37 years and advertising widely, he sold his walnuts, filberts (hazelnuts), chestnuts, prunes, figs, strawberries, grapes, peaches, cherries, citrus and dozens of other fruit and nut varieties throughout California and the Pacific Northwest. The commercial walnut variety “Felix Gillet” was named in his honor.
In February 1859, at age 24, he moved to the prosperous gold mining town of Nevada (City) in the Sierra Nevada foothills