Seattle Fruit Tree Society Membership Form
HISTORY OF WCFS/STFS by Jack Pedigo
Around 1964 Dr. Bob Norton started a tree fruit research program at Washington State University. The purpose was to bring about a revival of growing tree fruit in western Washington. The research center is located in Mt. Vernon. The idea of forming an organization centered on tree fruit and based in this part of the state was conceived at a field day at Wax Orchard (Vashon Island) in March of 1979. Organization was first known as Western Cascade Tree Fruit Society (WCTFS) and the first meeting was March 1980. The stated purpose of WCFTA was to bring together people, professional and amateur, who are interested in all phases of tree fruit culture, processing and marketing. It was also to disseminate information to the general public and to provide certain services to its members. The first newsletter was dated fall of 1980. In April, 1981 articles of incorporation were submitted to the Dept. of State. Ralph Monroe, Secretary of the State of Washington signed the articles and affixed the seal to them in June, 1981. The first recorded president was Walter Lyons of Bothell. He served from April, 1981 to May, 1982. Bylaws were written and approved in April, 1983. The name underwent a change because it was felt the original name was too limiting especially in regards to “tree fruit”. In 1980 the name was changed to Western Cascade Fruit Society (WCFS).
Over time groups from different parts of Western Washington decided to form chapters of WCFS. One of the earliest chapters was the North Olympic Fruit Club which was started in 1982. Subsequent chapters sprang the largest of these being the Seattle Tree Fruit Society. STFS got its start in the spring of 1985. In 1989 the board of WCFS applied for and obtained nonprofit status for the group which included all the chapters.
In 1984 Emory Leland decided to get interested people to form a group in Seattle. He asked Marlene Falkenbury to host the first meeting at her house. It turned out some 50 people attended. Emory served as the first president. He served until the spring of 1985 at which time Marlene took over the role. She was the president until 2004! David Conners was the next president and served until 2008. Leonard Fulller was president 2008 to April 2009. Lorine Brakken is now president serving since November 2009. The group has expanded to include 200 members.