The sign pointing to the Appledale Hall has been fixed up since this photo was taken.

Grow apples and grow rich in Appledale

You’d think Appledale must have taken its name from its fruit industry. But it was probably called that before there were any orchards.



Fifth in a series on West Kootenay-Boundary place names

You’d think the Slocan Valley hamlet of Appledale must have taken its name from its fruit industry. Indeed, the Encyclopedia of British Columbia says it was “Named for the area’s extensive orchards.” But it was probably called that before there were any fruit trees.

The West Kootenay Orchard Association owned the land and likely named it to inspire settlement. The earliest known reference is in a letter from the company of September 12, 1910, although it appears to have been known as Appledale, or Appledale Orchards, for some time before that.

Nelson real estate agent Jerome L. Hirsch bought the lands from lumberman John B. Winlaw in 1910 for $80,000, and formed a partnership with James Chapple and Judge James Goss of Billings, Montana.

In another letter, the company claimed “At Appledale we have over 3,000 acres of fine, level land, and the best feature of it all is that this land is practically cleared, having been thoroughly burned over.” (For emphasis, most of this was in written in all caps.)

“Appledale is in a proven fruit district; there are old bearing orchards on the land and the soil will raise the very finest apples, pears, peaches, quinces, apricots, plums, prunes, strawberries, gooseberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.,” the promoters promised.

Not all who took the bait felt satisfied, however. Burnaby resident Dave Martin’s grandparents, Henry and Nellie Green, bought land sight unseen at Appledale on a bench above the Slocan River. They arrived with four children in September 1919 to find their new house uninhabitable and the property unsuitable for farming. They stayed less than a year.

By the end of 1912, the West Kootenay Orchard Association had sold over $153,000 worth of Appledale property and Hirsch built a house at 312 Latimer Street. But he suffered insomnia, nervousness, and recurring flu bugs. “I feel sad over the whole business,” he wrote Goss, “as my best efforts seem to fall far short of the results I should like to bring about, yet I feel almost helpless to do better.”

Doctors prescribed a drier climate and he began wintering with his family in Los Angeles. He died there in 1932.

In 1983, as construction workers renovated the Nelson Home Furniture building on Josephine Street, they discovered a cache of Hirsch’s letters and business papers in the walls, now held by the Shawn Lamb Archives at Touchstones Nelson.

The Appledale post office opened April 1, 1914, closed April 19, 1955, re-opened on November 16 of the same year at a different location, and then closed on July 20, 1959 after it burned down. For many years, the post office and store were in the Kopecki and Woyna families.

The Kopeckis’ son Robert became well known as announcer Bob Kaye on Nelson radio stations CKLN and CKKC.

Next week: Applegrove and Argenta

Previous installments in this series

Introduction

Ainsworth

Alamo

Anaconda

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Nelson climate strike packs downtown to demand action

An inter-generational crowd staged a ‘die-in’ as part of the global strike Friday

Nelson’s Cedar Grove Estates affordable housing site to receive $3.2 million in renos

The project was made public during the Nelson CARES annual general meeting

Kootenay Lake ferry to shut down Saturday afternoon

Service to resume Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m.

Mystery illness killing Kootenay bees

Samples being sent to laboratories for analysis

Woman stabbed in downtown Nelson

Victim is in hospital, suspect is in police custody

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Most Read