The History of Hood River and its Fruit
About Hood River and The Fruit Loop
History and information about the fruit we use in our jams, preserves and fruit spreads
Hood River is one of the most magnificent and prolific fruit producing valleys in the world. Nationally, it is one of the largest Anjou pear growing districts producing over 50% of the nation's winter pears. (Anjou, Bosc, Comice). Additionally, Hood River produces over 11% of all the Bartlett pears grown in the U.S. and the area’s Newtown Pippin apple is considered the highest quality Pippin grown anywhere in the world.
The area's first fruit trees were planted in 1854, when Nathaniel Coe arrived into establish Oregon's first post offices and mail routes.
Twenty-two years later, 1876 E.L. Smith planted the first commercial orchard consisting of 30 acres of Newtown Pippin and Spitzenburg apples and peaches. In time, apples became the dominant crop.
In 1919, the Hood River Valley had a disastrous freeze that killed many apple trees. At that time, many growers replaced their crops with pears, so that today pears represent 75% of the fruit grown.
What makes Hood River’s fruit so exceptional is the fertile volcanic soil, produced eons ago by eruptions of long-silent Mt. Hood. Tempered with centuries of decomposed organic materials this mineral rich earth combined with pure glacier water, cool nights and warm growing days, makes biting into Hood River fruit a crispy, juicy, delicious experience.