National Apple Museum
Biglerville, PA 17307
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Early History
of the
Apple Industry
in Adams County

 A is for apple


Shipping Yakima Valley apples to markets outside the valley, when the industry was young, was accomplished by railroad. To prevent spoilage, apples had to be shipped soon after picking, and rail cars were cooled with ice.

The Yakima Valley Transportation Company's interurban rail system was installed in 1907. Shortly afterward the fruit industry began using it to move their apples from orchard to large warehouses, built at the terminus of each interurban line. Packing houses sprang up along the trolley lines in all fruit growing districts. (You can learn more about the Yakima Valley Transportation Company, and even ride on the Historic Electric Trolley, by visiting the Yakima Electric Railway Museum, on 3rd Avenue and Pine Street in Yakima.)

Today apples are carried from orchard to warehouse by "straddle trucks" loaded with bins full of apples. The trucking industry has now replaced the railroad, carrying ninety percent of Yakima Valley apples across the country and to Canada and Mexico. Apples are also taken to Seattle and California for overseas shipping to over forty different countries via container ship. Containers can be removed from the trucks and loaded onto container ships without the need for repacking.

 packing house

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The Biglerville Historical and Preservation Society
and The National Apple Museum
154 West Hanover Street - P.O. Box 656
Biglerville, PA 17307-9442 - Telephone: 717-677-4556

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