Museum tells the story of local agricultural industry

A photo from 1917 show men and women posing with baskets and crates filled with apples picked in orchards that were part of the Bristol Fruit Hills. The story of this area will be presented in the “Museum Matinee Bristol Fruit Hills” program on Friday at the Elkhart County Historical Museum in Bristol.

BRISTOL — The Elkhart County Historical Museum will present the “Museum Matinee: Bristiol Fruit Hills,” program at 11 a.m. Friday at the Elkhart County Historical Museum.

The program is free and open to the public.

During the last half of the 1800’s and early 1900’s, the area south of Bristol was home to a number of successful fruit farms. This program documents how and why this area was known for the growth of apples, strawberries, cherries, peaches, and other types of fruit.

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 and 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 the nation.

This program is presented in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibit, “Crossroads: Change in Rural America.” The exhibit will be on display at the Elkhart County Historical Museum until Sunday, March 15.

Organizers said the program is being presented during the museum’s open hours, so residents can take part in the program and then see the exhibit before it moves to its next location.

More information is available at www.elkhartcounty history.org or from the museum at 574-848-4322.

The museum is at 304 W. Vistula St., Bristol.

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