The History of Marker-Miller Orchards
The current farm market is on the land that my great-grandfather, Amos Marker, bought back on July 11, 1908. The stone house on the farm dates back to 1811 and is known as "Paxton." Currently, the fourth and fifth generations are farming this land. My grandfather, John D. Marker, started planting apple orchards in the 1930's and we continue to do so today. My father, J. Ralph Marker, expanded the orchards and added peaches in the late 1940's and early 1950's. He passed away in 1953, and my mother, Ada Marker, and aunt, Fay Marker-Miller, continued the management of the farms and orchards. That is how the name Marker-Miller Orchards originated.
My aunt was interested in diversifying and added several varieties of apples and other fruits (plums, pears and apricots). She also started selling some of the fruit to retail customers from our packing shed. I came back from college in 1969 and started working on the farm and orchard. In the last 20 years, my wife Carolyn and I have become the owners and have continued to diversify the variety of apples, peaches and plums we offer.
During that time, we have also started growing vegetables which has expanded our retail sales over the years. Our retail sales increased enough that in 2001, we decided to build a farm market and stop selling out of our packing shed. This decision was for our benefit as well as our customers. It allowed the customers to stay out of the busy flow of "farm traffic" and gave us the opportunity to offer and display new items. We also installed a kitchen in the market, so we could offer fresh baked pies and apple cider donuts. Then in the summer of 2004, we opened the season with an addition that was double the size of the existing market, allowing us to have a larger kitchen, more retail area and a wine tasting room.
Our daughter Heather, returned to the farm full time two years ago and is currently managing the farm market.
Hope to see you soon!
John and Carolyn Marker