An­nual ap­ple sales at Hopewell Fur­nace Na­tional His­toric Site

The Community Connection - - LOCAL NEWS - From Neil Koch

Be­gin­ning Satur­day, Aug. 25, and con­tin­u­ing while the crop lasts, the ap­ple or­chard at Hopewell Fur­nace Na­tional His­toric Site will be avail­able for ap­ple pick­ing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ev­ery day the park is open.

This will be the 32nd year the Na­tional Park Ser­vice has in­vited the pub­lic to har­vest ap­ples from the park’s trees. The pro­ceeds of ap­ple sales go to­ward main­tain­ing the or­chard and other vis­i­tor ser­vices in the park.

Hopewell’s or­chard has been found to be nearly as old as the iron fur­nace it­self. Men­tioned in con­tem­po­rary ac­counts as early as 1782, ap­ple trees were planted, pruned and har­vested yearly. The or­chard was re­plen­ished with new trees through­out the 19th Cen­tury and pro­vided valu­able food for fur­nace com­mu­nity res­i­dents, both man and beast.

The present or­chard in­cludes 30 va­ri­eties of ap­ples, many of which are his­toric types that may have been found at Hopewell when the fur­nace was an ac­tive in­dus­trial site. Early va­ri­eties such as Graven­stein and Sum­mer Rambo were in­tro­duced from Europe by early set­tlers. Oth­ers such as Jonathan, Stay­man, and Penn­syl­va­nia’s own Smoke­house were “dis­cov­ered” in Amer­ica and be­came fa­vorites dur­ing the 19th Cen­tury. Some of these va­ri­eties are hard to find to­day since they are no longer raised by mod­ern com­mer­cial or­chards. Also, Hopewell’s ap­ples are of his­toric qual­ity and taste by be­ing al­lowed to grow and ripen with­out the use of ap­plied her­bi­cides or pes­ti­cides.

Per­sons wish­ing to pick ap­ples should stop by the park’s vis­i­tor cen­ter to ob­tain a list of ap­ple va­ri­eties and or­chard map be­fore be­gin­ning to pick. Pick­ing poles and buck­ets will be pro­vided by the park.

Ap­ples cost $1 per pound re­gard­less of va­ri­ety or qual­ity.

Hopewell Fur­nace Na­tional His­toric Site pre­serves and in­ter­prets an early Amer­i­can in­dus­trial land­scape and com­mu­nity. Show­cas­ing an iron mak­ing com­mu­nity and its sur­round­ing coun­try­side, Hopewell Fur­nace was ac­tive from 1771 to 1883. The park’s fa­cil­i­ties are cur­rently open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed Thanks­giv­ing, Christ­mas, and New Year’s Day. Hopewell Fur­nace is lo­cated five miles south of Birds­boro, PA, off of Route 345. Ad­mis­sion to the park is free. For more in­for­ma­tion, stop by the park’s vis­i­tor cen­ter, call 610-582-8773, or visit the park’s web site at www.nps.gov/hofu.

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