Cider and Doughnuts: A Road Trip to Orchard and Farm – 1939

(from the Fall 2012 issue of Macomb Now Magazine)

By Denis LeDuc

Fall has arrived with spectacular color, soft golden light, and the rich scent of apples, cider and doughnuts. Despite early budding of fruit trees followed by several hard freezing spring nights, loss of fruit, and this summer’s drought, northern Macomb’s orchards, cider mills, farm stands and markets are open for business. They invite you to enjoy autumn’s rich fruits and vegetables on your table.

Plan a road trip to pick pumpkins, lose yourself in a corn maze, or savor a sweet candied apple. Nothing better signals the changing of the seasons. Here, in a Detroit News, September 3, 1939 photograph, fourth generation orchardist Harvey Bowerman (far left), neighbor and friend Bob Ulpleger (second from left), and Harvey’s son Armand (fourth from left) harvest a record crop of Romeo peaches, a tradition still carried on today by their descendants at Westview Orchards in Washington Township. Notice their wooden ladders reaching into the trees, the coarse gravely soil and bags to hold fruit slung over he shoulder. It was a time when men work fedora hats, bib overalls, and suspenders. Exactly two weeks after this tranquil rural scene was photographed. World War II broke out in Europe. Neither the country nor the nation would ever be the same again.


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