Gilman Collamore | Davis Collamore | Founders of the Oranges
Following the death of Revolutionary Capt. Enoch Collamore and his wife Hannah Cushing, the homestead at Gilman Plain in Scituate was willed to the surviving sons John, Enoch and Horace Collamore. The property remains in the Collamore family for the next two generations.
Col. John Collamore (1775-1859), eldest son of Capt. Enoch, once labeled "a stern old Puritan type", inherited the military instinct receiving his first commission of ensign by the Hon Samuel Adams. He also served as selectman, justice of the peace, assessor, county commissioner and served as a committee member of the State Constitutional Convention of 1820. One of Col. Collamore's 16 children settled in New York City and embarked on a successful trade in porcelain and china resale.
Located at 403 Broadway in New York, Ebenezer Collamore (1809-1884) imported china from France, India and England and supplied stoneware, Brooklyn Flint Glass, and Wedgewood for wholesale and retail. In 1836, at the age of 16, younger brother Davis (1820-1887) left the Collamore homestead for his brother's Broadway shop. Apprenticing for six years with his brother, Davis mastered the details of the business and the study of ceramics. On his own, he incorporated Davis Collamore at 595 Broadway in 1842 specializing in china, cut glass and Rockwood pottery.
During the 1850s, younger brother Gilman Collamore (1834-1888) came to join the company and the name changed to Davis Collamore & Co.
Gilman also branched out on his own occupying spaces in Union Square and a large several story building on 5th Avenue under the name Gilman Collamore & Co.
Davis Collamore commissioned designs from Copeland Spode and Thomas Minton that featured hand-painted details over transfer-printed outlines and often rich gilding. The company was known to rival the high end institutions in Tiffany & Co. and Black, Starr & Frost.
Davis was a brilliant tradesman in that he stayed steadfastly invested in the manufacture and cultivation of porcelain esthetics. He was considered one of the finest purveyors by the European markets and whose marketing opinions were sought after by his contemporaries. Davis was regarded as the epitome of integrity and his sharp business acumen enabled him to withstand all the financial crises.
During the 1860s Davis Collamore summered in West Orange, NJ eventually purchasing 70 acres on the eastern slope of Orange Mountain. Collamore named the estate Bellhurst and the acreage was comprised of apple orchards and a pasture for breeding Jersey cattle. A seventh generation first settler of New England became an original member of the New England Society of Orange and is credited as one of the original builders of the Oranges of New Jersey.
More to come...
Researched & Compiled by Susan Donnelly