Our Legacy in Brief / Harry and David

One of the best-known mail-order companies in the world, Harry & David had its roots in Washington's apple country.

In 1910, Samuel Rosenberg paid $300,000 for the 240-acre Bear Creek Orchard in Jackson County and incorporated the Bear Creek Co.

While his sons, Harry and David, went off to Cornell University, Rosenberg commuted between Seattle, where he spent the winters, and Medford, where he supervised the orchard each summer.

When their father died in October 1916, the brothers took over the orchard and packing house and put their faith in the Comice pear.

They bought more orchards and through Eastern brokers sold their fruit to affluent European homes and hotels. In 1934, Harry went to New York City with 15 boxes of pears and sent them to a few influential New Yorkers. Within a few days, Harry had orders for 467 gift boxes, and a new marketing strategy was born.

Two years later, the boys were selling year-round with the world's first "Fruit of the Month Club."

Just before World War II, anti-Semitic boycotts in Germany cut into the brothers' profits. In response, they legally changed their last name from Rosenberg to Holmes, honoring their stepfather.

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