Crosman History

Our Heritage

 

Crosman's Seeds has been a family run business since its founding in 1838.

Charles Frederick Crosman was the founder and owner of Crosman Seed Company, Inc. When Charles arrived in Rochester, NY he found a region devoted to agriculture. There was a constant demand for good seed from Genesee Country settlers and pioneers heading west. From the beginning, seeds were a principal commodity handled by Mr. Crosman.

Upon his death in 1866, the business passed to his two sons, Charles W. (20 years old) and George F. (17 years old). Without hesitation, they organized the business and greatly expanded their operations.

The two sons maintained seed beds in the Rochester area as well as in Canada and Michigan to be used as trial grounds to test seeds. The Crosman Brothers produced large quantities of seeds by distributing choice varieties to farmers of Monroe County in exchange for part of the crop. As the business continued to expand, various wholesale and retail outlets were opened in the heart of the City of Rochester. By 1880, their business had become one of the largest seed houses in the world.

From 1905 to 1908, the large real estate holdings were developed by the Crosman Realty Company. During this time, the Crosman Seed Company acquired many small seed businesses in the area.

The Crosman Brothers Seed Company came under new management in 1924.

In 1927, operations moved to their current location at West Commercial Street in East Rochester, NY. Its headquarters were established in the large factory buildings formerly used by Miss Kate Gleason for the manufacture of trailer cars.

The Crosman management passed to President; C. J. McRoberts, Secretary; C. Stolbrand, and Sales Manager; H. W. Mapstone.

By 1928, Herbert William Mapstone had acquired ownership. During this period the company directed its interests and sales to wholesale packet production, supplying national chain stores such as Kresge (now Kmart), Grants, Murphy's, and Neisner's, along with Ben Franklin Stores and independent stores. Herbert continued as president of Crosman Seed Company for 52 years until his death in 1979.

The company supplied seeds at reasonable prices through the Great Depression. They also donated seeds for area Victory Gardens during World War II. After World War II, the packaging of lawn seed mixes was introduced. Eight mixtures were developed for retail sale along with requests for special mixes. Gradually, lawn care fertilizer and control products were introduced to their inventory. Today, they carry a full line of professional lawn care products and hydroseeding supplies.

After many years of continuous operation, the company was documented at the Smithsonian Institution.

The Crosman Seed Corporation continues under operation of the Herbert W. Mapstone family. The third generation, William R. Mapstone and Craig H. Mapstone are the current operational directors.

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