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Monday September 23, 2019
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orchard reopening draws 1,000

Tuesday, September 03, 2019 12:26 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News


A grand reopening at Williams Orchard drew about one thousand people who seemed to relish the comeback of a 150-year old Harbor Country tradition.

The grounds on 500 East in northern La Porte County were open for the usual picking of apples along with new features like bounce houses, wagon rides and a petting zoo.

Also new was food and beverages like apple cider offered in the original 1870's barn.

Mark and Melissa Fisher, who live part-time in Three Oaks, came with their four children Patrick, 10, Liam, 8, Owen, 5, and Isla, 3.

Mrs. Fisher said they learned about the reopening while driving by the place on their trips from Indianapolis and there's nothing about the experience she didn't enjoy.

''We were very excited when we saw that they opened,'' said Fisher, while standing next to a bag of freshly picked apples and watching her children play in the bounce houses.

Jessica Zarobinski, 26, of La Porte brought her three-year old daughter, Gracelynn.

She remembered going to the orchard while growing up and especially liked the goats, longhorns and the other new offerings.

''It's nicer for the kids to have more things to do to keep them entertained,'' Zarobinski said.

Jon and Robyn Drummond, originally from Holland, Michigan, purchased the 135 acre spread after third generation owner, Ken Williams, died in February of 2018.

He was 98.

Immediate family members of his were not interested in continuing the operation started by Benjamin and Ester Williams after he returned from serving in the Civil War.

Mr. Drummond said about 750 people turned out Saturday.

Another 300 or more people came out on Sunday.

''It was kind of mission accomplished as far as let's get this thing launched and let's make it part of the community again,'' Drummond said.

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