We are in the peak of the apple season in the region with most stores, roadside markets and farmers markets loaded with pounds and pounds of delicious apples.
I say delicious because if you weren't aware, the Golden Delicious apple, so popular with many apple lovers, was discovered right here in West Virginia around 1915.
Anderson Mullins and his family had a mountain side farm in Clay County where the family lived off the land and raised their own meat and had a hillside full of apple trees. One day Mr. Mullins was walking his farm and discovered a tree full of large yellow apples with a taste unmatched by any he had tasted. The tree was a sport. In horticulture terms, it was a tree that came from seed and resulted from cross pollination or a chance cross breeding. Knowing he had discovered something special on his farm, he sent several apples to Stark Brothers Nursery. The rest is history.
Mr. Stark traveled to Clay County, took cuttings from the original tree, paid Anderson for the rights to the tree, fenced that new apple find so nobody could get other cuttings and traveled back to Missouri and propagated what is now has become the second most popular apple in the world. Today, it would be a rarity not to find golden delicious apples at the market. They are sweet, tangy, thin skinned, and an all around Delicious apple. After all I don't have to dwell on its merits; it speaks or tastes for itself.
Interesting enough is that the Rome Beauty apple variety was discovered just across the river from Huntington in Ohio and likewise the Grimes Golden was discovered just north of Parkersburg around the late 1800s. Get out there and taste a little bit of history.