Orchard coming back at Rockledge
Donated apple trees planted on site of 1880s Chambers orchard

       Thanks to 10 apple trees donated by the Broadmoor Garden Club, a fruit orchard has reappeared on the original 19th century orchard site at Rock Ledge Ranch.
       Volunteers with the Rock Ledge Ranch Living History Association (LHA) worked with the Garden Club to plant the 6-to-8- foot-tall trees April 17.
       The trees are valued at about $100 each.
       “It was a great day,” said LHA board member Helen Muterspaugh.
       The orchard location is at the south end of the Rock Ledge Ranch site - just north of Chambers Way.
       The larger, original orchard had been planted by the Chambers family, who ranched there in the 1880s. It was torn out in the 1960s, with the exception of two trees that still remain, when the Rock Ledge property nearly became part of the Pleasant Valley housing development which went in at that time, according to LHA board member Diana Francese.
       The apple types are Jonathan, Macintosh, red delicious and golden delicious, she said.
       “Records show that those were the varieties of trees the Chambers family planted,” she said.
       The planting “provides yet another aspect of authenticity to restoring the Rock Ledge House to its former splendor,” states the Annunciator (the LHA quarterly newsletter).
       The LHA hope is to add more trees, although not to have the orchard take up the entire field as it once did. The Annunciator also states, “Do not worry about the new orchard interfering with the old timey baseball game [an annual summer event at the ranch]. The trees will be planted away from the ballfield site, allowing the event to continue as usual.”

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