Apple Industry History

Henderson County NC Apple Industry History

More About the History of Henderson County NC Apple Growing Industry

Frequently Asked Questions About NC Apples

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  • 1700s – William Mills, set fruit trees and became the first apple grower in Henderson County
  • 1782 – Asa and Samuel Edney married daughters of William Mills and become some of the first settlers in the Edneyville Community of Henderson County
  • 1882 – Rail service connecting Hendersonville to Asheville and South Carolina cities and towns was used by farmers to apples and vegetables out of the county
  • 1890 – 1910 – Farms began hauling apples and other fresh produce to Greenville, Spartanburg, and other South Carolina Counties
  • 1936 – The Blue Ridge Apple Growers Association was formed; Sales were approx. $200,000 per year; Popular apple varieties – Banana Rose, Hoover, Wolf River, and Early June
  • 1945 – Apple growers started planting Starking in the Hendersonville NC area
  • 1946 – 1947 – Establishment of the first commercial apple packing house
  • 1947 – The North Carolina Apple Blossom Festival – which later changed to the NC Apple Festival – was organized by the Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce, the Blue Ridge Apple Growers Association, and the County Agricultural Extension Service
  • 1950s – Introduction of modern equipment, including speed sprayers and automatic power pruners to area farms
  • 1952 – There were about 180,000 bearing apple trees in Henderson County NC
  • 1954 – NC Apple Growers Association was organized by the Agricultural Department head at NC State University
  • 1958 – Gerber came to Henderson County and selected a site to process local apples, peaches, and many vegetable crops
  • 1959 – Apple growers got together and organized the first apple packing cooperative in Henderson County NC – known as the Western North Carolina Apple Growers Association
  • 1959 – 1960 – Sports apple varieties were planted – Starkcrimson, Red King, Topred, Vance Red Sport and others
  • 1965 – J.N. Major, of Old Virginia, built a juice processing plant at Mountain Home NC – later purchased by Seneca
  • 1976 – Local apple growers organized the Carolina Apple Processing Cooperative known as “CAP”
  • 1978 – Seneca expanded the former J.N. Major juice processing plant
  • 1980s – Western North Carolina Apple Growers Association has about 50 members and was packing 100,000+ bushels of apples and storing more than 150,000 bushels of apples each year
  • 1984 – Carolina Apple Processing Cooperative (“CAP”) sold by the growers to H. P. Bomers, Ltd. of Hereford, England which currently operates under the name “All Juice”

(More About the History of Henderson County NC Apple Growing Industry)

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