Western Colorado Horticultural Society, WCHS
Historical photos of agriculture & WCHS in Western Colorado

A Century+ of Fruit Trees and Vines in Western Colorado by Dr. Harold Larsen, Professor Emeritus
Colorado State University - WCRC


1881, Ute Indians removed from Western Colorado
1882, D&RG narrow gauge RR line completed from Denver to MontroseVinelands area east of Palisade
1893, World's Fair in Chicago
1895, Fire Mountain Canal started
1902, D&RG RR builds narrow gauge line up the North Fork Valley
1907, First coal delivered to D&RG tipple at Bowie
1919, Prohibition amendment ratified by 36 states
1929-1941, Great Depression
1933, Prohibition repealed
1934, Peach mosaic discovered in Palisade
1939, Start of WWII
1941, WWII ends, 1945
1950s-1966 Uranium mined and processed
1950s, Interstate highway system started, goes through Grand Junction in 1960s
1963, Freeze causes major damage to fruit industry in Mesa County
1960s-1970s, Oil shale boom and bust

1965 WCHS fruit group tour, Bookcliff Orchards (Alan Jones), top-working apple.

1973, First commercial plantings of wine grapes in w. Colorado (Dr. Ivancie); Four Corners Commission
1980, Publication of Four Corners Project report (grape production)
1981, Colo.Mtn. Vineyards to Palisade (1st winery on Western Slope)
1981, Alar Scare (apple industry impact)
1990, Colorado Wine Industry Development Act passed
2001-present, Expansion of wine grape industry acreage to estimated 1000 acres
2004-2008, Natural gas boom and bust
2008, CSU hires enologist, Dr. S. Menke with funding from CWIDB
Download Dr. Larsen's history of fruit and vines in Western Colorado pdf, includes photographs

WCHS History

WCHS CSU summer program 1974
July, 1974 WCHS Summer Program / Colorado State University - Austin Fruit Experiment Station Field Day. WCHS & CSU collaborated on giving summer educational programs for growers during the mid-to-late 1900s. Dr. Larsen in the foreground.

The Western Colorado Horticultural Society (WCHS) has a 70+ year role in providing opportunities to share fruit growing and marketing information with current and new fruit growers, marketers, elected and appointed government officials, and the public-at-large. Dr. Larsen shared his knowledge of WCHS at the 2013 Conference Banquet and his talk in pdf form can be downloaded here.

Many more photographs are included in the pdf.

We greatly appreciate Dr. Larsen's efforts to compile photographs and history of our region for our 2013 70th Annual Conference! Thank you Dr. Larsen!


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