One Idea Farming

Anna Mae Shaw - left - and Friends on South 2nd Street ca 1906 Photo Burt Hill

Anna Mae Shaw – left – and Friends on South 2nd Street ca 1906
Photo: Burt Hill

Faith in the Region

Bayfield County Press – Friday, September 6, 1907

Nourse Believes the Bayfield Peninsula is Far Better than Iowa Country for Fruit Growing read the subtitle.

Harvey Nourse of the Carver-Quayle-Nourse Land Company returned Tuesday evening from a visit at the Minnesota State Fair, and at a fruit orchard, one of the largest in the country situated in Iowa, says he feels more confident than ever that the Bayfield peninsula is destined to become one of the greatest fruit raising regions in the country.

Mr. Nourse stated that he was considerably surprised at the quality of apples on display at the fair, and honestly believes that had he been permitted to do so that he could have carried off the first prize with an exhibition of apples raised on the Bayfield peninsula.

Mr. Nourse states that he was somewhat taken aback on his visit to the largest orchard of E. G. Patten of Iowa, which is the largest in the state. Mr. Nourse says that the apple trees growing on the Bayfield peninsula are a much better fruit than the same kind of tree growing in Iowa. The fruit, which is of a much heartier variety than that grown in Iowa, is considerably larger also. The trees in this section of the country bear fruit considerably earlier than do the trees of Iowa, which he says, do not as a rule bear fruit younger than 10 years of age. Mr. Nourse intends to set out an orchard in fruit trees consisting of 30 acres, which is now ready to receive the trees.


“One Idea” Farming

Bayfield Progress – W.H. Holmes – Editor-Journalist  – September 09, 1909

Wants Diversified Farms, Bayfield Peninsula will take the Lead in Farming Some Day As Well as Fruit Raising” read the headlines on this date. The following article is written as a recommendation to Bayfield pioneer farmers for a diversified farming concept. Almost all hinterlands in the Township of Bayfield and the, to be, Township of Russell and Bayview had subsistence farms. During this period many of the following named farmers, as an addition to the article, were of the willingness to expand into the more lucrative fruit and berry business which were being promoted.

“While the Progress believes that the boom for a “fruit center” not out of place for Bayfield, but is alright.  On the other hand we have studied the question for diversified farming for a number of years and find it has proven the best for communities in general to exercise the best judgment what they desire as to the various branches of farming.

We well remember when early day farmers in Michigan and Wisconsin raised wheat as a principal crop to get back profits for investments and labor.  That was before the days of sawmills only for domestic uses, and a moderate amount for village building. Soon village and city building pushed ahead with increased population which called for lumber; then the pine forests became in demand and the great lumber industry spread.

In the early days of clearing for farms, the hard woods were burned in log heaps or for fire-wood; the demand for such lumber was limited.  With the increase of population everywhere the great lumber industry and manufacturing made leaps and bounds, and with it came a demand for the live stock, horses, sheep, mutton, etc. and the wood industry, including the dairy and fruit industry from the farmers.

There was then no longer any use for the one idea farmer, as railroads and transportation facilities came to satisfy demands. The man who had been raising just wheat or potatoes alone and forgetting the livestock, cows, pigs, calves and the dairy, found his farm had lost its fertility, and the wheat business had gone further west”.

This history brief was written by Robert J. Nelson. Generously sharing our local history through his research and writing.