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Peaches

John C. McCornack
Yukon, Oklahoma

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Downtown Stratford

STRATFORD, OKLAHOMA

"THE PEACH CAPITAL OF OKLAHOMA"

Stratford's chief claim to fame is its peach orchards. Each year, the major events here are The Peach Festival and a three-day rodeo.

At the time of the first Peach Festival there were some 300 acres of peach orchards in the Stratford area. Today there are some 900 acres producing these most remarkable accomplishments of nature. Specialists from the Oklahoma State University have declared the peaches of this area to be of the highest quality. It is on the twin virtues of quality and quantity that Stratford claims itself to be the PEACH CAPITAL OF OKLAHOMA!



Peach Festival

Oklahoma Peaches

Oh, how I love peaches
Juicy and sweet to the taste
I always take my time, though
Never eat a peach in haste

Their skins so soft and fuzzy
You just wanna snuggle one
At an Oklahoma peach festival
You’re having so much fun

Other food you’ll find as well
Hot dogs warm and good
Get a soda pop, my friend
And enjoy all the food

It’s a visit you’ll long remember
And also a place that teaches
So don’t forget to enjoy
Those Oklahoma peaches!

Marilyn Lott © 2008 - 142



Stratford Peaches

Stratford, Oklahoma Peaches

While nearly all the varieties of peaches grown in Stratford started in America, the peach itself was introduced to this continent by the Spanish. In Mexico, Louisiana, Virginia, and Massachusetts, peach orchards were a pleasant delight to sixteenth century life. The American Indians carried the peach inland so that it appeared to later settlers to be a native fruit.

The Pomans ate peaches, calling them the Persian Fruit (the Latin name still in use is prunus Persica). Virgil describes them in the first century before Christ. But they were already an ancient fruit, coming not from Persian but from Ancient China.

The price of peaches varied widely during the nineteenth century, ranging from $3.00 a single peach for those grown in hothouses to 25 cents a bushel. Peaches have always been present in the history of Stratford. But with the founding of the city in 1906, peaches were a thing for back yards and personal orchards. Longtime residents can remember peaches being sold door to door in the thirties. It was not until the fifties that commercial orchards of any scale were planted and the first crops appeared in the early sixties. Slowly but surely the reputation of the Stratford Peach began to spread. The 'Father of the Stratford Peach Festival, the late Reverend Jerry Dudley, promoted the festival idea and the First Annual Peach Festival was held on Main Street in conjunction with the Annual Rodeo, in July of 1976.





Sunrise

The World of Mom:

My mom taught me

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors;
we borrow it from our children





Downtown Byars

Byars, Oklahoma  

Byars located in McClain County, Oklahoma, pop. 247, on OK 59 is dwindling town, founded in 1903 and named for a local rancher, Nathan H. Byars. Both the California Road (1849) and the Fort Sill to Fort Smith Military Road (1869) passed nearby, and a mile northwest of the village are a number of old houses and scattered foundation stones which mark the remains of several important settlements. Fort Arbuckle was first established here. When the post was abandoned it was occupied by Delaware Indians under Black Beaver and was known for a time as Beaverville. Chickasaw leader Judge T. B. Johnston later built a home here, and the settlement existed as Johnson and Johnsonville from 1876 until Byars was established on a now abandoned Santa Fe branch line.

At one time there were buildings all around the town square. Some of the buildings included two banks, two hotels, drug stores, two cotton gins, hardware stores, dry goods and grocery stores, lumber yards, two car dealers (Ford, Dodge), one blacksmith shop and one flour mill. This occurred in 1904 when the population was over 1000. The donated land formed a town square which still exists today. The land was a part of Katie's Chickasaw Indian allotment.



More Toys

The World of Mom:

My mom taught me

Birds of the feather
eat peaches together



Fence row windmill

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Thanks for spending a little time in my world !

John McCornack

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Email me on:
jmccornack@aol.com


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