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All About Michigan

Michigan's Cherries

Many centuries ago, European and Asian peoples enjoyed eat-ing cherries. They are believed to have come from China around 4000 B.C. Cherries were brought to America by early settlers in the 1600s. Cherry trees, in fact, were part of the gardens of French settlers when they established Detroit.

In Michigan, Peter Dougherty, a Presbyterian missionary, planted the first cherry orchard in 1852 in the Grand Traverse Bay area on Old Mission Peninsula. These trees produced well and soon other orchards were planted all over Northern Michigan. Grand Traverse area possesses the conditions that cherries need to grow to their full potential. Orchards there are usually planted on rolling hills and sandy soil where there is water drainage and air flow.

The first cherry processing facility was built just south of Traverse City called the Traverse City Canning Company. Soon cherries were being shipped all over the country. Today, Traverse City is known nationally as the “Cherry Capital of the World”. In fact, the National Cherry Festival is held there each year which began in 1924. This year it’s July 2nd thru 9th when the sweet and tart cherries begin to ripen...

Read more about Michigan's Cherries in today's All About Michigan!

Click HERE to download this reading activity as a printable PDF.


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