As I write this, crews are demolishing the Leavenworth Fruit Company warehouse to create a new downtown parking lot. Regardless of how we feel about the removal of this historic landmark, we're looking at the face of progress.
Last week we held a gathering at the Festhalle to remember the Leavenworth Fruit Company and what it has meant to Leavenworth. The event was well attended and many people spoke of their memories of "The Shed." People like Ann Parsons Dark, daughter of founder Reg Parsons, who shared family history and photos of the LFC and historic orcharding in the upper valley. We heard from Ned and Betty Kuch, long time employees, and growers Eddie Clarke, Pat Burnett and Phil Brunton were in attendance and shared memories. Patricia Stoudt, Frankie Brender, Ken Pulse, Mike West and many others were there to help us all remember how the upper valley was one of the premier fruit growing regions in the U.S. These stories reminded us of how apple and pear orchards covered our area. All of Ski Hill Drive and Titus Road was orchard land. Icicle Road and East Leavenworth were covered with orchards. The Chumstick, North Road and Fox Road areas were all planted to orchards. Many of you live in neighborhoods that were once fruit growing locations until the land became more valuable as home sites and the orchards were removed. This recent conversion from agriculture to residential use was progress.
Well, Leavenworth's downtown is developing new buildings and new businesses, and that's progress too. So, no matter how you feel about progress, when you live in Leavenworth you are in the middle of it! And progress is bumpy, because change is difficult for us humans, so growth doesn't happen smoothly.
We will have to re-plan the downtown traffic flow and come up with a comprehensive parking plan for all of our commercial areas which will involve pay parking and time-limit parking, and all of this is progress too. Let us know how you feel about it. Attend the upcoming meetings and speak to your City Council. We're listening.
Leavenworth Mayor Cheri Farivar can be reached at Leavenorht City Hall. Email email@example.com