Historic Hood River
Mills County Apple Carnival
For a change of pace, here’s a W.F. Laraway image from his former home of Glenwood, Iowa.
Trapeze artists at the Mills County Apple Carnival. First held in September 1895, the Mills County Apple Carnival was held in Glenwood about which the principle apple orchards were located. W.F. was a major participant in charge of the Apple Carnival as the Chairman of Decorations. Between 2,000 and 3,000 bushels of apples were used in the elaborate decorations, including a series of large apple-covered arches on the trip from the Glenwood railroad depot to the public square welcoming the 12,000 to 15,000 people attracted to the carnival. Rides to view the surrounding orchards were also very popular. [A-038]
Both of the pillars supporting the “Queen Mills” arch are covered with apples. The garlands above the booths to the right of that arch are made of apples.
Interesting tie between Glenwood and Hood River: when Billy Sunday was 10, his impoverished mother placed him in an orphanage in Glenwood, Iowa. He would of course grow up to be a famous baseball player turned evangelist who spent time at his ranch in the Hood River Valley. I wonder if Sunday and Laraway ever discussed this connection? While the timeline is hard to follow I don’t think they were in Glenwood at the same time.
If you’re wondering what happened to those big, beautiful trees? Dean Fletcher’s research found they were destroyed in a May 1903 tornado.
I don't know if they were in Glenwood, Iowa at the same time, as Laraway was some 14 years older than Billy. There is a possibility that if the Laraway's went to the Pine Grove Church , at the time they lived on the farm, they could have met, as when Billy was visiting Nell or “Ma Sunday” as she was known he was asked to do the sermon at the church. Even if they had met it isn't certain that their “roots' would have been discussed. I don't know the exact years they lived on the farm.
Billy's father had been in the 23d Iowa Infantry in the Civil War and died of disease 4 months after his enlistment. Billy's father had been very poor to begin with and at his death Billy's mother and children were forced to move back with her parent. She was able to hold her family together until Billy was 10 and sent him and his brother to the Soldier's Orphanage in Glenwood. She was able to do this because his father had served in the army. Later he was transferred to the Iowa State Soldiers Orphanage Home. But by 14 he was out on his own and the rest is history.
How interesting. So, Laraway went from midwest apple country to pacific northwest apple country.
Looking online, there are photos of beautiful orchards, pumpkin patches, cider making and farm tours in Mills County. One noticeable difference between there and Hood River…..the ground is flatter.
When I first saw this Glenwood image, it made me think back to the earlier image 2430 (Cart Before Horse) and left me wondering if the parade in the earlier image was part of this same Apple Carnival event.
I believe the “Cart Before the Horse” image is from the Apple Carnival, though I can't be sure it was the same year. We have a half dozen Apple Carnival images, but it was an annual event so I'll bet W.F. set up his camera more than once.