Heart of Ellsworth to host Public Forum
Gibson Financial Services, this year’s Public Forum sponsor and Heart of Ellsworth are pleased to announce the return of the Public Forum Series. On September 13th from 6:00 to 7:30 pm at the Riverview Room in the Ellsworth Public Library, free and open to the public. Todd Little-Siebold will speak on Apple Sleuthing: The Hunt for Lost Downeast Apples
In 1850 Maine, farmers grew over one thousand named varieties of apples. In Maine, apples were highly esteemed as some of the best on the national and international market. By the 1890s Hancock County and the rest of the state experienced an export boom where over a million barrels a year were shipped from Portland to England. In Ellsworth alone, there were over eighty commercial orchards. All of that collapsed in the 1920s and 30s and orchards were abandoned. Today only five varieties are grown in commercial quantities in Maine, and there is only one commercial orchard in Ellsworth. This talk will explore the rise and fall of the apple industry and why the particular history of Maine makes it one of the best places to hunt down and rediscover the heirloom varieties once so essential to everyday life.
Todd Little-Siebold, a Professor of History at the College of the Atlantic has been studying and documenting- the history of apples in Downeast Maine. Siebold encourages attendees to bring apples along for identification. For most accurate identification the following documentation is helpful:
• A photograph of the tree taken from the ground and the first major branches
• Five apples from the tree (if possible in a paper bag with their contact info and the location of the tree)
• If they have multiple trees, a sketch map of the site with apples from each tree in separate bags
“The mission of Heart of Ellsworth it to promote economic, artistic, cultural, educational, historical and environmental activities in the “Downtown” area to provide a vibrant community for all residents, businesses, non-profit organizations and local government.”