Wednesday, June 4, 2008

1905 Shipping Fruit from Coulee City

In 1905 the snow pack was heavy and provided a great amount of surface moisture in the spring of 1906. This encouraged Clifton Ham and Archie Tucker to start planting orchards northeast of Coulee City. The soil in this area had a high gravel content and was suitable for fruit production. Water for irrigation was obtained from springs, ponds, and shallow wells. The trees were planted in a definite pattern, with soft fruits, such as peaches, cherries and plums, alternating with apples and pears. By 1910 these two men had over 300 acres of orchard in production. The Ham orchard contained 200 acres of trees and the Tucker orchard, 100 acres. Both operations had packing sheds located on the home places and near the railroad depot. Peak employment reached 200 workers in the harvest season. In 1910, 90 railroad cars loads of peaches, pears and apples were shipped to points east. Shortly after this time the Ham orchard was listed as the largest D’Anjou pear producing orchard in Washington.

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