Arrowhead Orchard

Arrowhead FarmsRaymond and Anna Goodard bought the hillside, which Arrowhead Orchard was planted on, in 1932.  The 40 plus acres on the east side of a hill was the perfect spot with protection from the westerly winds.  The land sloped into the valley assuring the orchard never to have a total freeze.  Cold temperatures would flow down the valley and away from the spring apple blossoms (air drainage).  The orchard never had a total loss of crop from the frost because of this.  It took over a year for the trees to be planted by the hand of Raymond and his brothers. A strong spring in the middle of the orchard provided a continual source of water for the farm.  The orchard was given its name from the arrowheads found in the ground and around the spring planting..  The original caretakers were the Delaware natives (American Indians).

Raymond Goddard, born in 1898, grew up in Louisville and hunted and trapped in the Paris area.  He worked in Canton in a coal mining office, married and had one daughter, Doris.  The stock market crash of 1929 left the country in poor financial condition and by 1932 he knew his job was in jeopardy.  He had read about orchards from the books and information from the Ohio State Extension offices.  Knowing the lay of the land in Paris, he turned in an insurance policy, borrowed money from the bank and bought a 40 plus acre strip of land from Harry Starkey.  Area farmers laughed at him; the land was steep and full of briar bushes.  How could he grow anything on that land?  Doris was just 8 years old when they moved to the country and lived in a neighbors “old mansion turned into a chicken coop” building with no electricity..  Raymond and Anna bought a tractor and plowed up all the land.  The tractor was quickly repossessed but the land had gotten plowed.  Raymond’s younger brother, Basil had been adopted and raised by a rich aunt and uncle and attended Notre Dame University, Indiana for two years.  He knew how to survey the land and straight rows of trees were planted by several Goddard brothers who by this time had no jobs.  Raymond was without work for three years.  He built a four rooms, one story, tile home on the property, only later to be able to cover it with brick.  In 1940, two more rooms, indoors bathroom and attic completed their home.

Arrowhead Orchards TourThe water supply for the orchard was a strong spring and Raymond harnessed its resource by installing a 10,000-gallon water tank.  It had to be placed at exactly the right level so water being filled by gravity stopped at the top of the tank.  The barn was first disassembled from 12 miles away and reconstructed in its current location in 1934.  They had two horses, one cow and chickens.  It took apple trees 4-5 years to come into production.  Peach trees grew a crop sooner and were planted in rows the of apple trees.  Hay was planted between the rows.  Cherry trees, raspberry bushes, chicken, eggs, butchering pigs and a garden kept the family going.  They took quarts of raspberries to Canton and almost begged establishments to buy them for 25 cents.  Raymond got a job in 1935 at Canton Drop Forge and in town was where he sold his produce.  There he worked till 1945.  Dry brush washers and chain grader equipment were installed in the barn by the end of the 1930’s.  In the orchard, flat wagons were filled with baskets full of apples (later crates) and brought to the apple house by horses.  A Caterpillar track-tractor was bought in 1938 to more easily move wagons and water filled sprayers up and down the steep orchard hills.  The first cold storage room (7,000-bushel capacity) was built in 1948.  Refrigeration temperatures were kept at 32 degrees F. (Just till ice formed on the cement floor).  Apples were watered down daily to keep high humidity in the storage room.  This kept the apples crisp and prevented wrinkling.  Apples were stored from August to June. 15 to 20 seasonal employees worked to bring in the crop and keep the trees pruned and in production.

Another 6,000-bushel cold storage room was added in 1959.

The second owners of the orchard were Fred and Truus Monhemius; they came to the USA from Holland (The Netherlands).  Fred had graduated in 1949 from horticulture school.  As a young married couple, they left post World War II depression in Holland with two suitcases and a sewing machine and arrived in Hoboken NJ on April 10, 1951 six weeks after being married.  They made contact with relatives living in Wooster, Ohio who had come to America in 1911 before World War 1.  Fred’s first job was working for Cope Fruit Farm in Paris.  Six months later Fred and Truus was offered a job at Arrowhead Orchard for $150 a month with a small trailer to live in.  They could buy the trailer with monthly payments to Raymond and Anna.  In 1956, the Monhemius family left to manage an orchard in Batavia, Ohio.  Raymond, thinking of future retirement offered to build a home on the orchard for them if they would return and manage the business.  Fred and Truus returned in the spring of 1958 and raised four children in Paris. Erwin, Elaine, Diana and Randy.  They bought the orchard from Raymond and Anna in 1964, two years before Raymond died from a bad heart at the age of 67.

In the 1960’s a bagging table was acquired to provide 10#, 5# and eventually 3# bags to the grocery stores.  State of the art washing and grading equipment was installed in the apple house in 1970.  Not till 1982 was a forklift and pallet jack acquired.  Prior to then all apple crates and boxes were lifted by hand.  Fred was able to stack crates 12 foot high in the cold storage room.  A 900 square foot sales room was added to the barn with tiled red brick flooring and finished restroom facilities.

The current owners bought the orchard in 1986 at auction.  Glenmar Farm was a 60-acre beef and grain operation on the east side of the orchard owned by Glen and Marie Gram.  In 1977, their youngest son, Terry, graduated from Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania.  They formed a partnership with Terry and his wife, Sharon.  Terry moved back home to work with the family partnership and got a job with Stark Soil and Water Conservation District.  Sharon got a job with Aultman Hospital in Canton.  They raised two boys, Cory and Curtis and rented the original Goddard brick home for 10 years.  When the 2 family partnerships bought the orchard, Terry Gram family moved across the driveway to the home that was built for Monhemius by Goddard.  Fred and Truus kept two acres and built a home on the northwest corner of the orchard.

Marie Gram had worked on the apple grading line for the orchard since 1962.  Glen and Terry had a background in farming but knew nothing about apples.  With a little help from Fred, the families got through the first season.  Most of the training came from the Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Station (OARDC) in Wooster and the Ohio Fruit Growers Congress (farmers teaching farmers) together with Ohio State University.  They provided sessions in tree training, pruning, specialized sprays, cold storage, cider processing and deer and rodent control.  Gary Vogley, a neighboring orchardist and apple butter processor became a good friend of Terry’s.  Gary helped Terry lean about the modern developments in tree rootstock and apple varieties.  Certification classes were attended every year for usage and management of orchard sprays.  Soil and leaf analysis was done throughout the orchard to insure high standard vitamin/mineral content in the produce.  Innovative pest management skills were introduced into the orchard providing other ways to control insect populations.

In 1996, parking area was enlarged and a 30 by 40-foot cement docking area was added to the barn.  The grading equipment was updated to use 18-bushel bins instead of one-bushel crates.  Forklifts, pallet-jacks, tractors and a bin-dumper then did most of the heavy lifting.  This was a major improvement in the management of the orchard.  Terry would then be able to run his business longer with less stress on his body.

By the time the third owners bought the orchard the trees were old and the apples small.  Terry immediately started a replanting process that took 16 years.  Even now, new varieties of apples and peaches are yearly planted in an eight-hour day.  At first, Terry and Glen planted by hand with a post hold digger.  80 trees were planted in an eight-hour day.  In 1992, a tree planter was bought and 1000 trees were then planted in a six-hour day.  Since 1986, the orchard was completely replanted with semi-dwarf apple trees.

Today, Arrowhead is still owned by Glenmar Farm partnership.  Terry Gram has operated the orchard as a wholesale and retail facility.  There are now over 7,000 apple trees and 100 peach trees planted on approximately 45 acres.  These trees are replanted on a 25-year cycle.  The apple house (retail store) is open August through April and carries 30 apple varieties, several peach varieties and sweet corn.  Terry wholesales to 12 area markets in Stark and Carroll Counties.  Over twenty employees are hired part-time throughout the year; some are seasonal help and some work the whole year at a variety of different jobs depending on the time of the year.

The year 2002 celebrated 70 years for the orchard.  Three different generations of families lived, learned from and loved the orchard.  All of us and many in the community who have walked the orchard know the spirituality that surrounds it.  Could be why you think our apples taste so good.

As you find yourself traveling State Route 172, going east past East Canton and just before you reach the small town of Paris, Arrowhead Orchard is on the right side of the road, the far-side of a hill and the back-side of the barn.  Stop by the apple house and take a long breath of fresh air and smell the delicious scent of apple.  Enjoy a walk over the hill in the orchard and see if you can find the spring.  Listen to the wind through the trees and maybe you will hear 70 years of very special living.