C. J. Olson Cherries

Spring in the Olson cherry orchard.

Before it was Silicon Valley, it was the Valley of Heart’s Delight. Ten million fruit trees in 1910, most of them prunes. The Olson family and their orchards are a link to the family farms of the past century. The Olson’s were Swedish immigrants who settled in 1899 in Sunnyvale, before it was a city, when it was known as Encinal (spanish for Coast Live Oak). They planted orchards of apricots and cherries including the best apricot (Royal Blenheim) and the best cherry (Bing). We love those fruits so much that we have two apricot and two cherry trees in our yard (in addition to the other 20 varieties of fruit).C.J. Olson Cherry box label

Their grandson, Charles Olson, was born in 1935. Charles attended Fremont High School (right around the corner from our home).

Charles’ daughter, Yvonne Jacobsen, wrote a great book: Passing Farms: Enduring Values

Notice: these are not shade trees. Two to three feet above the ground, the trunk has been shaped into strong side branches in an hour-class shape. This keeps the top fruit accessible to the pickers on their orchard ladders.


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