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Hood River museum hosts free antique fruit label show

Swap meet and presentation part of event

The History Museum of Hood River county, Sue Naumes and Kelsey Doncaster will host a fruit label show and swap meet on April 19 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the History Museum.

Come learn and acquire a piece of the Hood River Valley's label history. Fruit labels will be available for sale and trade all day. Free Hood River labels will be given to anyone who attends.

Naumes is a longtime collector of apple and pear labels. Doncaster is a Pacific Northwest historian and fruit label collector. They both will be at the museum from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to show labels, trade and answer questions.

At 1 p.m., Doncaster will present a historical program about the Hood River Valley's fruit labels and how they were made.

People are encouraged to bring in their labels or if they have Hood River Valley, White Salmon Valley or The Dalles fruit industry history to share.

From mid-1890 until the late 1960s, fruit from the Columbia Gorge was shipped in wood boxes with colorful paper labels pasted to the ends. The labels were attractive images to entice buyers in fruit auction houses and customers in grocery stores. Fruit labels varied in themes -- some had pastoral scenes of the orchards or instead featured young women. Others focused on recognizable Northwest images like Mt. Hood to catch the buyer's eye.

The fruit growing areas of the Columbia Gorge contained some of the finest examples of stone lithography. The boxes of apples, pears, and cherries were shipped as far away as Europe and Asia.

Sadly, with the coming of the cardboard box these labels became obsolete and are now an historical item sought after by collectors or those who worked in the fruit industry.


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