About Us - Wilsons Take Over the Reins: Coincidence or Fate?

Our Place in History    |    U-Pick: A New Tradition Starts in 1905  
Wilsons Take Over the Reins: Coincidence or Fate?

Eventually, facing retirement, Ralph and Peggy Hicks made the difficult decision to place the "Hicks Bros Fruit Farm" on the market.

Meanwhile, Dot and Don Wilson had decided to look for a farm to live and work on as a way of getting out of their own hectic life. Disillusioned with the corporate world, Don yearned for a rural atmosphere, a slower pace, and a chance to grow things and work hard, getting physically tired at the end of the day instead of emotionally exhausted, commuting by tractor instead of by car. The Wilsons had searched for a farm in four different states, as far away as northern Michigan, without being able to find the "right" small working farm.

One Sunday, after church, the Wilsons were buying ice cream and saw a stack of New York Times. They decided to buy one on a whim, as they rarely bought the paper. There they saw an ad for Hicks Bros Fruit Farm. As the Hicks tell it, they had saved up some money and bought an ad in the New York Times for one day only, as the ads are very expensive. That Sunday was the only day their ad ran. 

The Wilson family bought the farm in 1974 and with the help of the Hicks family, learned how to bring in their first crop.

 They did not have one day of regret. In his former life as a corporate executive, Don could only build things and practice his hobbies (including his love for growing things) on weekends. Living on the farm, everyday seemed like a weekend day.

Throughout the years, the Wilsons have made some changes and kept some things the same - but always remaining dedicated to the U-pick tradition started over a century ago. They have maintained the orchard's name as "Hicks" out of respect for the accomplishments of the past.

As had the Hicks, the Wilsons have made the farm a family affair. Don's brother George moved to the orchard to lend a hand is landscape paintings in his orchard studio.   Dot's sister Gaultine would drive to the farm all the way from Medina, Ohio every fall to help check in customers out in the orchard.  All of the stained glass work on the farm was designed and created by Don and his sons, Scott and Dan. And the decorative door on the apple barn was created by Don as one of his weekend projects.

Don Wilson, his brother George Wilson, his wife Dot Wilson and her sister Gaultine now have all passed away after planting thousands of  trees here and working over twenty harvest seasons.   Now his son Dan  has  stepped in, and with the help of his children and dedicated employees,  are all adding to the legacy of the family farm. 
Folks from miles around return to the farm year after year to renew their own family's autumn tradition. Some, as children, were first brought here by horse and buggy for a family outing; now they come with their children, who have their own children in tow, to pick from the trees of their childhood.

Our Place in History    |    U-Pick: A New Tradition Starts in 1905  
Wilsons Take Over the Reins: Coincidence or Fate?

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