Around 1910, William Soons, an electrical engineer living and working in New York City, decided to move north and try his hand at dairy farming. Always being a student of horticulture from his youth in England, William was soon planting trees everywhere - hardwoods, plus apple, pear and peach trees. And Orchard Hill Farm was born. One of his sons, Sinclair, (1896-1984) became the next farming Soons, as he expanded wholesale apple sales and the dairy. Sinclair married Helen (1902-1996), also a New York City transplant, a school teacher who grew up in a family store setting. Their youngest of four, Arthur, completed college at Princeton University and army service before settling down with Sandra, a Nebraska native and Vassar graduate. Since 1959, Art and Sandy (pictured), circa 1960 have worked to make Soons what it is today, along the way re-named to Soons Orchards easier sign-making was the motivation!
The entrepreneurial spirit continues as eldest son Jeffrey, also an attorney, takes over orchard and farm operations. Daughter Laura, and husband Scott, founded Scotty's Country Kitchen in 1987 and continue to hone their mouth-watering recipes. The youngest, Sharon, spent 10 years in the NYC non-profit world before rejoining the family business and starting her own, Streamline U., offering professional organizing and home staging services throughout the Hudson Valley.
We Soonses are a Ford Family - can you tell? (1975)
Soons history starts at 6:37!
The future holds continued challenge as we expand our selection of fruit for sale, manage our U-Pick operations, and offer new items like fall weekend food service, freshly prepared foods, cut flowers, homemade fudge, along with new events like dinners at the farm, Blossom Bash, Founders Weekend and others.
So what kind of a name is Soons...
Truthfully, we're not totally sure. Art's family originated from England and Ireland, but we think there are some Dutch descendants before that which may've started the name.
The original Orchard Hill Farm apple barn; we've since added on a bit!