As we begin the second quarter of 2014, the Citrus Label Society has
three successful meetings behind us. The January meeting at Sunkist
headquarters was very well attended and the citrus fruit display and
tasting was a big hit. More than 60 people attended and tasted the fruits
of 40 different citrus varieties. I was able to obtain fruit from some
historical, early varieties such as Orange St. Micheles, Orange Malta
Blood and an early Spanish Sweet Orange. These three varieties did very
well in the overall evaluation, when sampled side by side with some
of the newer, more recently developed orange, mandarin, grapefruit,
pummelo, lemon, lime and selections of citrus hybrids.
The February meeting took place in Fullerton, California at a new location.
The staff at the new Fullerton Community Center was very accommodating
and friendly. The meeting room has great lighting and is well supplied
with tables and comfortable chairs. This meeting was especially exciting
for me, as one seller showed up with some rare, early citrus stock labels
from the 1890s. I was able to buy and trade for some wonderful new additions
to my collection!
Our March meeting in Riverside, California was well attended with good
participation and fine camaraderie. Several people brought in pieces
from their collection for show and tell. These monthly meetings are
a highlight for me and I always look forward to participating in them.
Many members live within 15 or 20 miles of a meeting location and seldom
show up. Come on out and spend an hour or two with your friends. You
never know who or what is going to show up at a meeting.
At the time of writing this message, it looks like we will be able to
meet in April at the Sunkist headquarters in Sherman Oaks, California.
Please check the website posting before attending just to be sure. The
meeting is scheduled for Saturday April 19, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until
We're very pleased with how our website is progressing. I really like
the new look. I thought Gordon's article on the "Introduction of
the Washington Navel Orange" was informative and a great read;
full of historical information with some vintage photos of the folks
who made it all happen. And you've got to love that image of the Griffin
& Skelley Washington Navel label—early, rare, colorful and
just super cool.
For those of you who don't know, a recent citrus related event is presently
taking place here in Upland, California. The demolition of the 100-year-old
packing house that was once home to the Old Baldy Citrus Association
(and later the Cucamonga Mesa Growers) is under way. The site will be
developed to residential, single family homes. Much of the lumber is
old growth redwood and in great shape. The City of Upland is saving
as much as possible for use in a new park project, which will be built
at the site. As the crew was working, they uncovered a long forgotten
Sunkist sign painted in the 1930s on concrete block. This historical
sign will be re-located to another site within the city.
I've been documenting the demolition and will be working on an article
for later this summer on the history of the house. But for now, here
are a few photos of the activity. [See images below.]
The City of Upland is holding its annual Lemon Festival on April 25,
26 and 27, 2014. This is a wonderful community get together, incorporating
Citrus history, music, food, drinks, dancing and fun into a three-day
weekend, carnival-like atmosphere. So be sure to mark these dates on
your calendar. And for information about this event, go to www.uplandlemonfestival.com.
Lastly, you won't want to miss the event on Sunday June 29, 2014 from
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the California State Citrus Historic Park
in Riverside, California. They will be hosting a book signing, featuring
Citrus Label Society member David Boule and his new book, entitled The
Orange and the Dream of California. Also featured will be Richard
Barker, President of the Citrus Roots Heritage Foundation, signing his
books on the Citrus Industry and Southern California's Citriculture.
Several other notable authors will also be on hand, signing their works
as well. For more information go to www.citrusstatepark.org.
Please be sure to visit our website often, as updates are frequently
Hope to see you at a meeting soon.
- Tom Spellman, CLS president