Hudson’s Bay Company employees beginning in 1843, planted the Heirloom orchard on the edge of Edmonds Marsh. Approximately 13 original apple, pear and plum thickets are still alive. In 2016 cuttings from these trees were planted in a new orchard behind the 1843 Fort Nisqually site in an effort to preserve these varieties.
Heirloom Orchard interpretive sign
Backstory and Context
Near Edmonds Marsh and adjacent to the 1843 Fort Nisqually, Hudson's Bay Company employees planted various fruit trees including apple, pears and plum thickets. These would remain there after the fort’s closure in 1870. For the next several decades the trees became a favorite spot to visit for local residents with several accounts of people picking apples from the trees.
Being a local favorite, steps were taken in 2016 to preserve these heirloom apple varieties. A coalition of DuPont residents received approval to plant cuttings from the original trees and created a new orchard a few yards away. The original orchard can be viewed from a trail off Tolmie Ave.