Posted 6 years ago
Ocean's library/historical society researchers were most unhelpful and not very willing to help, which was an insult as their site said they'd help if I dropped a request.
As such, I can provide little information on this document. All I know is what Church it's talking about. Due to that, I will give you a write-up on fruit-growing-- mostly peaches-- in Michigan.
The Fruit Belt of Michigan runs a little inland from Lake Michigan. My town and others along this belt were glorious producers of all sorts of fruits, and some still are. Mine mainly does blueberries, much better ones than what most stores carry from other states (ours can be a bit pricey, though, so I only get them once a year).
Not only is the climate great-- with Lake Michigan keeping it mild as compared to further inland (water releases heat more slowly than air, so when air-temp drops, water gives off heat to keep it warmer; it also leads to less damaging frosts in spring, as it keeps plants from budding prematurely since the water heats up more slowly than the air which will drop down at night)-- but our soil and sun (which can be quite strong) also are great assets.
We used to be the Peach Capital-- surpassing the Southern states at the time, as our peaches grew better and more juicy in higher yields.
Around the 1880s, though, a disease that had been known really took off and totally decimated the peach trees we'd been growing since at least the 1830s.
By 1920, we were not sending peaches to the national market because, for the most part, we had no overflow of peaches being produced. What survived was marketed here and to our neighbours, as most peach trees had been destroyed.
The disease, never successfully treated, had completely destroyed one of our largest fruit crops.
We own one peach tree, which pollinates itself and with our neighbour's. Beyond that, we grow apples, pears, mulberries and have this year purchased two cherry trees.
Not quite an orchard, and definitely not like their 1,150 trees (not including timber).