Reviving the Harrison Cider Apple & the Lost Art of Newark Cider
Talk & Tasting at Durand-Hedden House & Garden, Sunday, September 17, 2-3:30pm
September 2017 – As Newark was settled in the 17th and 18th century, apple orchards took root, feeding a thriving industry in hard cider. The most famous and revered apple was the Harrison, a diminutive yellow variety named for Samuel Harrison, a descendant of one of the city’s founding fathers. By the end of the colonial period, Newark cider was renowned, regarded as the champagne of cider by George Washington.
Once widely planted in the Garden State and beyond, including in Maplewood and the Oranges, the Harrison apple declined in the late 1800s and slowly vanished until only isolated trees remained. After a while, they were forgotten and thought to have disappeared entirely. But in 1976, an intrepid Vermont orchardist was delighted to discover a surviving Harrison in New Jersey. From that single find has come a rebirth of the Harrison, fueled by a growing US market for hard cider. Now, through the work of Charles Rosen, owner of New Ark Farms and Jersey Cider Works (home of Ironbound Hard Cider), the Harrison apple has once again taken center stage in New Jersey in a modern interpretation of the most coveted style of Newark cider.
Visit Durand-Hedden House & Garden on Sunday September 17 at 2:00pm for a talk by Charles Rosen on the rise, fall, and rebirth of the Harrison apple and the making of Newark cider. Appearing with Charles will be Fran McManus, author of “The Return of Newark Cider,” a 2010 Edible Jersey article that first inspired Rosen’s work. The House, grounds and Country store will be open 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. On view will be photos of the old Crowell cider mill which stood near Columbia High School and a Harrison apple tree planted in Grasmere Park under Durand-Hedden’s watch several years ago.
About Charles Rosen, New Ark Farms, and Jersey Cider Works
Montclair resident and entrepreneur, Charles Rosen is the founder and CEO of New Ark Farms and Jersey Cider Works. Rosen's goal is to create a delicious, locally crafted product while pairing his passion for sustainable agriculture and social justice. To that end, the majority of the workforce of New Ark Farms is made up of the formerly incarcerated.
Durand-Hedden’s charming Country Store will open for the season at this event. Check out historic-themed treasures such as early American games, books, and toys; facsimile documents; quill pens and ink; historic cookbooks; cookie molds; tin lanterns; and reproductive decorative items and ceramics. You’ll also discover the hard-to-find original Doors of Maplewood poster, Smile: A Pictorial History of Olympic Park 1887-1965, and the new acid-free reproduction of the 1931 Map of Maplewood.
About Durand-Hedden House and Garden
Durand-Hedden House is dedicated to telling the social and natural history of the development of Maplewood and the surrounding area in new and engaging ways. It is located in Grasmere Park at 523 Ridgewood Road in Maplewood. For more information or to arrange group tours call 973-763-7712. You can also visit our website at durandhedden.org and find us on Facebook and Twitter.