One of Southern Oregon’s oldest orchards, Hillcrest Orchard, has been directed by members of the Parsons family since 1908. The land was settled first by Samuel Bowen in 1853. He sold the acreage in 1868 to Jesse Richardson, who developed an extensive farm. William Renkin purchased the property in January 1889, and after his death, the farm was acquired by William H. Stewart for $45oo. William H. Stewart’s father, Missouri nurseryman Joseph J. Stewart, arrived in the Rogue Valley in February 1885. He began the local commercial fruit industry by planting a large orchard south of Medford. William H. Stewart likely transported some of these young trees to the land now known as Hillcrest Orchard. In 1903, as the apple and pear trees were coming into bearing, Stewart sold the orchard to Julian Wells Perkins, a Portland businessman. Mr. Perkins named the orchard Hillcrest and built a new residence on Hillcrest Road.