Olive Through the Ages

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Olive Heights Citrus Association, 1915 - from The California Citrograph, 1915

Olive Heights Citrus Association, circa 1922  

The Olive Heights Citrus Association was organized September 30, 1914, with 100 acres "signed up," and a handful of members. Now there are 400 acres and 120 members. Young as it is this association has won the distinction of having topped the eastern markets several times this season. Ninety per cent of the oranges handled are Valencias. During the season of 1814-15 there were sent out 77 cars of Valencias. The output this season will be about 150 cars. The average net returns to the growers for this season up to August 31 was $2.26 net per box. The September shipments brought net an average of $3.54.

The packing house, which is located on the Santa Fe railway, is 70x120 feet in dimensions, with a concrete basement under all, which is 10-1/2 feet in the clear. J. Flood Walker, the well known architect, took into consultation the engineer who designed the machinery, and Manager [W.H.] White, and the result in what has been proven by successful operation an ideal packing house. The ventilation and lighting are the best that can be devised. By the unique arrangement of a "saw toothed roof" the light comes in from the north side and is so abundant and well distributed that no artificial light is necessary in the remotest corner. This feature is a most commendable one.
  W.H. White of Olive Heights Citrus Association, 1915
The uploading facilities are such that the boxes can be taken directly from the wagon to either the basement or main floor. If to the former an automatic conveyor takes the boxes down by gravity. The basement is specially arranged to handle the summer Valencias so that the fruit will be cooled and made ready for the long journey east. The boxes, which are made in the basement, are conveyed to the packer, who can get an empty one without leaving her seat. There is a set of doors by which practically the entire side of the building next to the spur track can be thrown open to accommodate the loading of the cars as the need arises. The office is bungalow style with rest rooms for the packers and a large concrete vault for protecting the records and other valuables.

The packing house cost about $7,000. The machinery equipment represents about $7,000 more. From the California Iron Works of Riverside the machinery was procured.

W.H. White, president and manager, has been connected with the packing of citrus fruit for 17 years. He commenced by washing oranges and knows by experience exactly how to handle every detail of the business. He is also a successful grower and owns 20 acres of Orange County oranges.

The other members of the board of directors are A[lexander] C. Fletcher, P.H. Medlin, J.A. Maag, H[enry] C. Meyers and D[aniel] P. Crawford. The latter is vice president. E.D. White is secretary.

- Article courtesy of Gordon McClelland



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