Universal York

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There Was a York Imperial Cherry Too

York Imperial Cherries
I keep coming across references to fruit with York County origins, which I don’t mind. I like fruit and this is a good place to grow fruit as well as enjoy eating it. The climate and soil are right for fruit trees to thrive. It’s no wonder that local growers experimented with new cultivars with some success.
In a recent post I related an account of Confederate soldiers enjoying Napoleon cherries in 1863 at York Township’s Springwood Farm, where Jonathan Jessop had developed the York Imperial apple some years before.
Click below for those previous fruit posts.
Confederate cherries.
Jessop’s apple.
Did you know a York Imperial cherry was also patented by a York County nursery?

Horace B. Faber and John A. C. Zeigler, Jr., proprietors of the White Rose Seed and Nursery, 358 West Market St., York were awarded Plant Patent 421 on September 17, 1940 for the York Imperial cherry. It was a sweet cherry, described as having good resistance to insects and disease, and recommended for market, dessert, cooking and canning. The cherry was a good keeper, as was the York Imperial apple, so perhaps that influenced the name.
The York Imperial cherry’s parents were the Napoleon (like the invading soldiers enjoyed) and the Schmidt’s Bigarreau. An internet search indicates that both of these highly praised varieties originated in Europe.
I haven’t run out of fruit stories yet. Grapes for wine have been grown in York County during the past 200 years or so with varying success. Then there are the mulberry trees that were frozen out one winter, putting a screeching halt to what some York Countians hoped would be a thriving silk industry. As they say–stay tuned.