Before Bushnell: The Fruit Way: Agriculture and Orchards

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The Fruit Way: Agriculture Orchards

In 1869, the First Transcontinental Railroad joined the East and West Coasts of the United States near Promontory, Utah, allowing people and goods to travel quickly and safely from one end of the country to another. The railroad passed close to Brigham City, and a later rail traveling south passed right through. This opened new opportunities for Brigham City farmers to sell their produce to other parts of Utah and the United States. They exported leather and woolen goods and other farm and ranch products.

Some Japanese railroad workers settled in the area around Brigham City to start farms. They grew cherries and also developed Utah celery, which became famous and sought after around the nation.

One of Brigham City’s most famous products is its peaches. Peach growing in Brigham City started in 1855, when pioneer William Wrighton paid $1 for 100 peach pits to plant. The settlers found that peaches did especially well in Brigham City’s climate, with its warm days and cool nights. The peach harvest is celebrated every year in September during Peach Days. The event started in 1904 and draws thousands of attendees. During most of the summer, visitors traveling north on the historic U.S. Highway 89 through Willard, Perry, and Brigham City pass numerous fruit stands making up Utah’s Fruit Way, where they can buy local cherries, peaches, tomatoes, and other seasonal produce.

For further reading:

“Peach Days,” Box Elder Chamber of Commerce, https://www.boxelderchamber.com/about/peach-days/.
Mark Saal, “Brigham City’s annual celebration returns with all things peach related,” Standard-Examiner (Ogden, UT), Sep. 5, 2019, https://www.standard.net/entertainment/brigham-city-s-annual-celebration-returns-with-all-things-peach/article_7c24083d-b0ae-5ff8-a636-6b912cc54f82.html.
Eileen Hallet Stone, “History Matters: Immigrant farmers worked hard to cultivate Japanese celery,” Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, UT), Sep. 4, 2005, https://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=3000315&itype=NGPSID.
“The History of Brigham City,” Brigham City Corp, https://www.bcutah.org/history.htm.