I have a friend whose main avocation is postal history; specifically postal ephemera related to the oil industry of Western Pennsylvania in the mid nineteenth century. He once purchased a full correspondance collection to harvest the pieces that were related to the oil industry. The correspondance was that of a gentleman who invested heavily in the oil industry, and who also owned a lumber mill.

I read much of the lumber-related correspondance, and it's obvious from those letters that cherry was readily available in the mid- to late-nineteenth centuries, and was very reasonably priced compared to many other woods. Combining these characteristics with the dimensional stability of cherry wood, it's unsurprising that it became the wood of choice for camera makers.