The Evidence Accumulates – August Turnquist
A brief visit to the August Turnquist orchards in September of 09 convinced the Progress Manager that Bayfield was an O.K. fruit center in its infancy now, but was bound to grow like the fruit trees to wonderful proportions.
Truly, it is constantly being emulated that in addition to the mild boom going on in the Bayfield Peninsula, that “Seeing is Believing” You may read of wonders in a circular, but sometimes you are skeptical and will often say: “That is overdrawn” or perhaps not true and written for a “boomlet” But when you read from a reputable newspaper, backed up with photo-plates, the story is clinched with nails of truth and facts.
Wednesday morning (9-22-1909) Chairman Wachsmuth drove out to the farm of August Turnquist, with the Progress Editor. The farm, fine orchard and farm buildings situated on a sightly spot, gently rolling and of excellent soil, over-looking Pike’s Bay, and the South Channel between Madeline and Long Islands. What good things that have been said of William Knight’s and other fruit orchards of apples etc., is certainly evinced and duplicated in what was seen here. Here we saw apple, cherry and plum trees that had been planted, some six (1903), four and two years ago, nearly all in fruitage or had been this season.
The Whitney, Duchess and Wealthy varieties and Crabapples are the most prolific but we saw some of the Greening varieties coming into bearing. We are almost inclined to the belief that the climatic conditions, together with the soil are such that Michigan and New York apples would thrive here. Experiments should be tried. There should be a trial orchard right in the Bayfield zone. All of Mr. Turnquist’s fruit trees, including a large tract of strawberries, have made splendid growth, look thrifty and every indication gives promise of fruitful yield next season.
A few years ago Mr. Turnquist bought seven forties here. He has built good and serviceable farm buildings and for five years has had a steady and competent man, Joseph Vinburg and family on the place, and about fifty acres is cleared and under cultivation. He said a good many people laughed at him a few years ago and thought people crazy to attempt to make fruit growing profitable up this far north. Now the laugh has turned to a big smile of joy to the Bayfield farmer and fruit raiser. Mr. Turnquist could no doubt get for his orchard berry patch for what his seven forties cost him a few years ago.
There is lots of good lands to be had cheap for the farmer and horticulturist in this section; lands that will respond as if by magic to the practical tiller of the soil and as good as any in the world. W.H. Holmes- Editor-Journalist, Bayfield Progress, September 23, 1909
This history brief was written by Robert J. Nelson. Generously sharing our local history through his research and writing.