Monday, August 17, 2015

Friday, April 10, 2015


After more than 45 years of Park Service ownership and nearly 20 years of seasonal employment, two great changes have occurred at the Buckner Orchard.

Since purchasing the Buckner Orchard from Harry and Lena Buckner in 1970, the National Park Service has employed seasonal workers to maintain the orchard.  For the past 20 years, Laurie Thompson has, as a seasonal employee, cared for and nutured the historic trees.  In March, that all changed.

With little fanfare, and after months of process, the orchardist position at the Buckner Orchard was designated a permanent position, and Laurie was hired to fill it.  This is great news for both Laurie and the Orchard.  Laurie will no longer have to continually reapply for the seasonal work, and funding is now on a more solid basis for care of the orchard.

Congratulations, Laurie!  You and the trees of the Buckner Orchard all should be very happy!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Harvest Fest 2014 - A Great Weekend!

Beautiful weather, a large apple crop, and lots of great folks,  music and food highlighted this year's Harvest Fest!


Friday Orchard work party - 14 participants
Friday Night Stehekin Valley Music Program - 130 Attendees
Saturday Cider Pressing and Community Potluck  -  220+ Participants
Sunday Poetry Night - 17 readers and reciters

Friday Work Party - A very important part of what the Foundation does is to gather volunteers to help at the Orchard and Homestead.  Winterizing this organic orchard is critical to the longevity and health of the trees.  Controlling mice by removing grass and food, cleaning ditches, mowing and weed eating, along with setting up for the next day's festivities are only some of the many activities completed.

Friday Evening  -   Banjo, piano ragtime, solos, duets. and quartets with music from the 40's and 50's as well as other lively offerings from Stehekin's own Agnes on Fire band made for another enjoyable and entertaining evening.

Many thanks to all the musicians and singers, and especially to Mary Denmead, Mark Scherer, and Jo Reiter for their organization of this great event.

Saturday at the Orchard -  A bumper apple crop coupled with our largest attendance ever made for a day filled with lots of apples, lots of cider, lots of people, and lots of food and music.  We couldn't ask for more!

The Orchard has never looked better!  The signature Common Delicious apples, along with the Rome Beauties, Winesaps, and Johnny's were large, juicy, and numerous. 

Chili with all the fixings, a fine selection of salads, and a multitude of yummy desserts rewarded the pickers, pressers, and watchers, while enjoying the music of Agnes on Fire, our versatile and talented band of local musicians.

Sunday Evening Poetry Night - Reading from favorites, many of them reflections of the Stehekin Valley and the mountains that surround it, as well as original writings from those present, this relaxing evening brought Harvest Fest 2014 to a quiet close.

Many thanks to the Wilfred and Kathy Woods Advisoy Trust and the Community Foundation of NCW for their support of Harvest Fest!

NEXT YEAR - Harvest Fest 2015 will be held October 9 - 11.

Saturday, September 6, 2014


The Details

You've all seen the flyers and now here are the specific details related to this year's Harvest Fest.

Where:  Stehekin, Washington on beautiful Lake Chelan

When:  October 3, 4, 5, 2014

Getting there Unless you have your own boat or plane, or chose to hike in, you'll want to take advantage of services provided by the Lake Chelan Boat Company and/or Chelan Seaplanes.

Lake Chelan Boat Company

The Lady of the Lake provides daily service through October 15, with only a single boat running at this time of the year, so reservations are recommended for both Friday arrivals and Sunday departures from Stehekin.   Schedule and Rates

Chelan Seaplanes

Here is a note from Shane at Chelan Seaplanes, just for Harvest Fest

"We have added some extra flights and a $20 discount on a round trip or $10 one way for folks flying up to the Harvest Fest. They can make their reservations online via our web site or the link here.  (LINK)  Folks can enter the Promo Code "BOHF2014" when making their reservation to receive their discount."

Places to Stay:  Use this link at the Foundation web site (LINK) to check out accommodations in Stehekin, as well as fishing, hiking, and bicycling adventures.  And, don't forget the Stehekin Pastry Company!


9 AM  -  Work party at the Orchard

This involves light work setting up for the weekend, as well as getting the Orchard ready for winter.  Come when you can, leave when you need to.
7 PM  -  Stehekin Valley Music at the Stehekin School

The Valley is the home to many fine musicians dedicated to providing traditional,  as well as contemporary music.  End of the Road/Agnes on Fire will play, along with both vocal and instrumental individuals and groups.  If last year is any indication, this will be a sold-out house, so arrive early!

NOTE - As per state law, alcohol and tobacco are not allowed on the school grounds.

10 AM  -  Picking and Pressing at the Orchard

Two cider presses, new picking bags, a choice of ladders or long-handled fruit pickers, or just visiting and enjoying the Homestead and Orchard, there are a lot of fun choices for everyone. 

 Bring your own containers for cider, if you have them.  One-gallon freezer bags are provided for this purpose, as well.     

1 PM  -  Community potluck at the Orchard

Our tables are always graced with a great selection of foods at this bountiful time of the year, and End of the Road entertains for your enjoyment in this great setting.

 Chili with all the fixings, lemonade, coffee, plates, cups, and utensils are all provided. 

If you have lawn chairs, bring them along, or maybe a blanket to sit on the grass.


7 PM  -  Poetry Night  (Location to be determined)

Most Harvest Fest visitors have returned home.  The Valley is quiet and peaceful, the perfect evening to relax and enjoy your favorite poetry and that of others.  Bring your favorite pieces, your own writings, or just listen and enjoy.

Come to enjoy the hospitality of the Stehekin Valley, the fruit and history of the historic Buckner Homestead and Orchard, and the incredible colors of autumn in this unique and wonderful setting!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

HARVEST FEST - The Orchard and the Community


A Great Weekend!

Friday Night Stehekin Valley Music Program - 140 Attendees
Saturday Cider Pressing and Community Potluck  -  165+ Participants
Sunday Poetry Night - a dozen readers and reciters

Informed on Monday that the normal venues for Harvest Fest, (the Buckner Orchard and the Golden West Lodge), would be closed due to the government shutdown; the Stehekin Community stepped up!

Instrumental was the Stehekin School Board in providing the use of the School on Friday evening for the music program and for cider pressing and community potluck on Saturday.  Without this prompt and generous offer, Harvest Fest would not have happened this year.

As the School is cleaned on Sunday evening and was unavailable, sincere thanks to Terry Lavender for providing a warm and comfortable setting for Poetry night.
Many individuals stepped forward, allowing us to pick a truckload of apples prior to the shutdown.  Many other small details needed to be worked out now that the Orchard was unavailable.  Hauling and storing the apples, disposing of the cider mash as to not attract bears to the school, and more.  Without hesitation, community member and friends were there!
With a standing-room-only crowd, the Friday night program was lively, and entertaining, with a dose of Valley history.  Peggy Ann Courtney, Mary Denmead, Patty Wilsey, Liz and Tom Courtney, The End of the Road Band, "The Andrew Sisters," and spirited sing-along's of Valley favorites made this an event to be remembered!  Rocking the School from 7-8:30 PM, the program was followed by music for dancing and listening from Agnes on Fire, an aberration of The End of the Road Band.  This was an excellent kick off to Harvest Fest 2013!  And, many thanks to JoAnne Reiter and Mark Scherer for thier planning for this event.

Truly the result of a community's commitment and effort, Saturday was busy, relaxing, entertaining, filling, and very enjoyable.  Serenaded first by big band music typical of the Orchard in its hey-day, then live with Imus and the Mud Flows, this was a day to forget about the many consequences of the shutdown to this small community and to celebrate the Community and the Buckner Orchard.
Under the best of circumstance, this was a great Harvest Fest Weekend.  Under the circumstances overlaying the Valley this year, this was a marvelous weekend!  The Stehekin Valley and Community truly shined!  Many, many thanks to all who made it so.
Harvest Fest celebrates the Buckner Orchard and the Stehekin Community.  This year, it was a little more about community.
See you next year!

Web page:

The Buckner Homestead Heritage Foundation is a not-for-profit organization
created specifically to support and preserve the Buckner Homestead and Orchard in Stehekin, Washington,
and is registered as such with the State of Washington and the IRS
(Tax ID #452913458)
Foundation information is sent by blind copy to members and interested
individuals. If you no longer wish to receive these messages, please
contact us at the e-mail address from which this originated.

Friday, August 23, 2013


October 4-5

Over the past four years, Harvest Fest at the Buckner Orchard has evolved to become more than a one-day event.  For the fourth consecutive year, a Friday evening program at the Golden West Lodge will kick-off our celebration of the Buckner Homestead and Orchard as an important part of our Stehekin Valley heritage.
Stehekin Valley Music - Across Generations

Live at the Golden West Lodge, enjoy an evening celebrating the musical heritage of the Valley.  Featuring talented local musicians, sing-along's with Mary Denmead, The End of the Road Band, Peggy Ann Courtney, displays, and more, this is a do-not-miss gathering!

7 PM, Friday, October 4, at the Golden West Lodge,  Be there! 

Fifth Annual Harvest Fest

Be a part of another great day of picking apples, making cider, the community potluck, and the musical entertainment of Stehekin's own The End of the Road Band. 

Saturday, October 5, The Buckner Orchard, Stehekin

10 AM - The picking and pressing begins!

Be sure to bring containers for the cider.

1 PM  - Community potluck, great music, and visiting with old friends and new.

Chili with all the fixing's, table service, plates, cups, lemonade, and coffee are provided.

Bring  lawn chairs if you have them.

Need something in Stehekin?  Follow this link to the Foundation web site and all the connections you need.  Find it in Stehekin

Monday, October 22, 2012



Continued Indian summer weather, a great apple crop, sumptuous food, and 200+ enthusiastic participants made for a near-perfect celebration of the Buckner Orchard and Stehekin Community on October 6!

Valley residents and visitors spent an enjoyable day picking apples, making cider, visiting with old friends and new ones alike, enjoying the music of Stehekin's own End of the Road, while filling plates from the large selection of potluck food. What a glorious day, and the orchard has never looked better!

See what you missed or reminisce about your time at the Buckner Homestead with photos of the day provided by Leo Christoffer, Crystal Austin, and Herb Sargo. (Photos)

Follow this link to Wilfred Woods' column in the Wenatchee World celebrating this year's Harvest Fest. Thank you, Wilfred! (Column)


Special thanks are in order for Eric Little and John Schinneman of Whildbey Island, friends of the Stehekin Community, for completely refurbishing both cider presses at the orchard. Metal and wood parts were replaced or retooled in their shops in Freeland, WA, and the presses are not only much easier to use, especially for kids, but will now serve the community for many years to come. They look great! Thank you both for you generous contribution to the Orchard and Stehekin Community.

The project and transportation to and from Whidbey Island was facilitated by the Foundation, and we are very grateful to Tom Courtney Tug and Barge for providing shipment of one of the presses.
Eric is pictured readying the presses for their maiden voyage.


Harvest Fest 2012 also brought the unveiling of the new Buckner Orchard sign on the Stehekin Valley Road. Construction of the sign was funded by the Buckner Homestead Heritage Foundation, and is pictured here with Wendy Garfoot. The old sign, created by the late Phil Garftoot, now resides at Wendy's new home in Stehekin. The Garfoots were long-time residents at the Orchard and are responsible for much of the work that has made the Buckner Homestead and Orchard what it is today.



13 friends of the orchard spent the morning of October 5 readying the orchard for winter by removing grass and apples from around trees for mice control, cleaning up around the buildings, and other structures, and preparing for the next day's Harvest Fest. (Photos)