The Surface Creek Valley Historical Society's Pioneer Award for 2016 was presented to members of the Williams Family during the SCVHS annual meeting and banquet at the Stolte Shed last Saturday.
The Williams Family traces its roots in western Colorado to the mid 1880s. The first Williams Orchard was planted here in 1921.
The family's orchard enterprise has grown to some 350 acres today, and the fifth generation of Williams is preparing now to step into the business and take up its leadership roles for the future.
Williams Orchards has been a leader in innovation for the local fruit industry. Its enterprise has been in the forefront with new technologies and production methods including the use of wind machines, micro sprinklers, underground piped irrigation, and hail nets which protect crops from storms and help increase yields.
Twenty-six years ago, the former Palmer Packing Shed was purchased and since then it has been transformed to become the valley's signature gallery for quality art and merchandise and a source of inspiration for gracious Western Slope home living.
With the AppleShed, Williams Orchards has been a leader in the value added segment of the fruit industry creating craft wines, ciders, and other products made with locally-grown produce. The Williams Orchards and AppleShed have been important supporters of the SCVHS and Pioneer Town.
Connie Williams, who has painted several of the murals that accent local history and culture along Delta's Main Street, in accepting the Pioneer Award thanked the community for its support of the AppleShed enterprise through the years.