Early Ohio Apple History

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by blufford, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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    An excert from the book, The Ohio Frontier, Crucible of the Old Northwest 1720-1830 by R. Douglas Hurt

    "In 1796, Israel and Rufus Putnam brought a wagonload of Roxbury Russetts and some forty or fifty other apple varieties from Connecticut. These trees provided the basis for the Putnam nursery, near the Muskingum River a few miles north of Marietta. This nursery was the first west of the Alleghenies, and it supplied farmers with apple trees until 1821. Other settlers frequently brought apple seeds and young trees to remind them of their former homes and to furnish beauty shade, food and drink on their new lands. As a result most apple varieties in Ohio during the early 19th century reflected migration patterns. In the Western Reserve, New England Varieties dominated the orchards, while PA and MD varieties prevailed to the south. In time other varieties from New Jersey, New York and Virginia--Early June, Carolina Red, Pryor's Red, Fall Queen, Milan-came to Ohio giving the state a host of apples of varying size, shape and color. Ohioans who ocassionaly returned to the east for business or pleasure, also brought back shoots of the best varieties. Grafts of these sicons helped expand Ohio's apple orchards before enough nurseries were established to meet the demand."

    "Most apple orchards on the Ohio frontier, however grew from seedling trees. Grafting and budding which guarantee the reproduction of a specific variety, were not unknown, but most farmers did not understand the process or were unable to aquire the appropriate grafts for their rootstocks. As a result most of the apple production was only fit for drinking. This suited Ohio farmers who raised apples primarily for cider-the cooking and keeping quanties were of secondary importance. Cider offered an alternative to water as a thirst quenching beverage. When fermented into hard cider or made into apple brandy commonly called "apple jack" or "Jersey lightning", it provided a potent and salable libation. Consequently most farms had cider presses and few apples were wasted. Those unsuitable for cider, immediate eating, storage or vinegar were fed to the livestock."
     
  2. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Great post, thanks. I love ohio apples!
     

  3. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks Zealyouthguy.
    Being a fan of genealogy I find that learning the migration paths of settlers by the types of apple trees a fascinating topic. Unfortunatly this book just touched upon it. One can also try to determine paths by the types of livestock and building methods. Agriculture methods can sometimes show where people in a community came from. And communities continue to evolve sometimes adding something new things from new people.
     
  4. RoseGarden

    RoseGarden Well-Known Member

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    Is this the same Israel Putnam (Old Put) of the Revolutionary War? I am trying to recall my history lessons, and I can't recall if Old Put died during the war or not. I know he was already and older man when he served Washington...
     
  5. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi Rosegarden, Thanks for your PM. Heres a link to abe books where you can but a copy of this book. I'm sorry I don't know who Putnam is. The book has the early indian wars in Ohio . It also tells how the land was surveyed and made availabe to the speculaters and public. You'll like this book. Its one of the few books I've read more than once.
    http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/Sea...+Crucible+of+the+Old+Northwest+1720-1830&x=60