Every story has a beginning. This was ours!
Pioneer Orchards is one of three adjacent farm parcels that make up StoneRiver Vineyards. It is 22.5 acres. For the second half of the last century Pioneer Orchards was a farm known locally for its great peaches and other tree fruits. Pioneer Orchards was also known as a source of Indian artifacts. Arrowheads and cooking implements were often found when tilling the soil after heavy rains. These artifacts were remnants from the large population of Native Americans that camped along Coleman Creek up to the Mid 1850s.
Fowler Ranch is the second parcel that makes up StoneRiver Vineyards. It is 5 acres. Previously owned by Loran Fowler, he purchased the property for eleven hundred dollars in March 1946 after returning from World War II. The house he and his family lived in was built in 1930. The outside walls were covered with sheets of old newspaper tintype and the inside walls were insulated with prewar newspapers. The living room window was an old 8 pane glass screen door turned on its side. Though small by today's standards, it didn't prevent the Fowlers' from raising 3 beautiful children, two boys and a girl that they were forever proud of. The two boys served in Vietnam and both died there for our country. Their daughter Laura spent a lifetime caring for severely handicapped children in Napa, California.
Brookbank Orchards is the third parcel that makes up StoneRiver Vineyards. It is about 18 acres. It was originally a commercial pear orchard and one of Jackson County’s first registered farms (No. 72, dated 2 March 1914). Coleman Creek flows across the north edge of the property for about a third mile. Brookbank Orchards was part of an original Donation Land Claim created under authority of the Donation Land Claim (DLC) Act of September 27, 1850. Prior to becoming an orchard, Brookbank was mined for placer gold. The mine was located in a place on the property marked by 7 large old pine trees. Mining was done using water from nearby Coleman Creek and brought to the site by an old wooden flume.
Fowler house and garage
Original Fowler home west of Talent Middle Canal
Fowler garage with
same siding as house
Fowler Ranch pasture east of Talent Middle Canal
A view of Pioneer Orchards looking east towards Roxy Ann from Talent Middle Canal (Summer 1997)
Fresh Peaches in Country Store,
now Tasting Room (Summer 1997)
Takelma Arrowheads from
Coleman Creek Area
Peach trees seen along
Pioneer Road (Summer 1997)
1914 Certificate of Farm Name for Brookbank Orchards
A Section of Coleman Creek