'Bristol Fruit Hills' is story of county's agriculture industry

A photo from 1917 show men and women posing with baskets and crates filled with apples picked in orchards part of the Bristol Fruit Hills. The story of this area will be presented in the “Places of Elkhart: Bristol Fruit Hills,” program on May 10 at 7 p.m. at the Elkhart County Historical Museum in Bristol.

BRISTOL — The Elkhart County Historical Museum presents its next installment in the “Places of Elkhart” series, focusing this month on the Bristol Fruit Hills.

The program is 7 p.m. on Thursday May 10 at the Elkhart County Historical Museum, 304 W. Vistula St., Bristol.

During the last half of the 1800s and early 1900s, the area south of Bristol became the home to a number of successful fruit farms, according to curator of education for the museum,  Patrick McGuire.

“This program will cover how and why this area became an area important for the growth of apples, strawberries, cherries, peaches, and other types of fruit,” he said. “Also, this program will attempt to make the case that these fruit hills should be seen as one of the great industries that was established in Elkhart County during the 1800s.”

With band instruments rising in city of Elkhart, the lumber industry popping up in Nappanee, the Bristol Fruit Hills were producing as much as these other industries, and taking advantage of improvements in science, machinery, and transportation like the others that would go on to make gain Elkhart County notoriety in the state, and even the nation, McGuire said.

The program is free and open to the public.

The “Places of Elkhart,” series features a program every month in 2018. A schedule of upcoming events and other information, can be found at www.elkhartcountyhistory.org or by calling the museum at 574-848-4322.

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