A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 12, 2004
Lands of the Big Red Apples
Several places in the United States and Canada, pre-1920, were known as the "Land of the Big (Red) Apple." Oregon was one of the first; others include Missouri, Colorado, Washington, and British Columbia.

The following are the earliest citations for this designation.


22 November 1862, Morning Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), pg.4?, col. 2:
We would suppose that the mountains were nearly deserted, seeing the number of men that have passed here on their way to the land of "big red apples."

18 April 1891, Los Angeles Times, pg. 4:
And it ought to result in immense benefit to the people personally, as well as to the State, for Oregon is admirably adapted to fruit and vegetable culture in soil, climate and water. Not only can she produce the "big red apple," which earned for her so excellent a name in California in "the fifties," but most of the deciduous fruits of any spot in the temperate zone find here congenial conditions and grow to perfection.

18 December 1896, New York Times, pg. 4:
Red Apple Country.
From The St. Louis Republic.
(...) Probably the experiment made by Congressman Richard Parks Bland in devoting seventy-five acres of his farm lands to the cultivation of a single variety of apples has spread the fame of the Ozark plateau as "the home of the big red apple" further than the ordinary means of advertising would have reached.

Google Books
August 1909, The World's Work, pg. 1935:
In the Land of Big Apples
(Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana--ed.)

3 September 1909, New York Times, pg. 1:
The President will be impressed with the fact that Spokane is the home of the big red apple.

12 December 1909, New York Times, pg. SM10:
Many of the Southern apples are raised in the Middle States, and Missouri, which is famous as the "land of the big red apple," produces winesaps and Davises by the carload.

11 February 1912, New York Times, pg. C12:
This Week's Free Lectures...
Oregon, The Land of the Big Red Apple.


Books/pamphlets include:

1896--Life in the Arkansas Valley of Colorado: The Home of the Big Red Apple (Denver, Colo.: Colorado Orchard Company).

1898--Among the Ozarks: The Land of "Big Red Apples" (Kansas City, Mo.: Hudson Kimberly, 20th edition).

1908--Wenatchee, The Home of the Big Red Apple: Where the Dollars Grow in Trees (Wenatchee, Wash.: Commercial Club).

1908--Chelan County, Washington, The Home of the Big Red Apple (Wenatchee Commercial Club).

1908--Come to DeBeque in the Grand River Valley Colorado; land of sunshine and plenty and home of the big red apple (DeBeque, colo.: The DeBeque Land Co.).

c. 1908--Western Apple Lands in the Great Northwest: Route of the Oriental Limited, Fast Mail, the Great Northern Express: Three Fast Daily Trains to the Land of the Big Red Apples (St. Paul, Minn.: Great Northern Railway).

1910--Post Falls Irrigated Tracts: The Home of the Big Red Apple...in the Wonderful Spokane Valley (Chicago, J. A. McLane Co.).

c. 1910--Overton and the Great Overton Country, The Home of the Elberta Peach, the Big Red Apple and the Luscious Strawberry (Overton, Tex.: Overton Improvement Club).

c. 1910--Think of a Home in British Columbia, the Land of the Big Red Apple (Winnipeg: Canadian Dominion Development).

1912--Fruit Ranching in B.C.: Go Where the Arrow Points (Winnipeg, Candian Dominion Development Ltd.) (At bottom of cover: The land of the Big Red Apple).

1930--Calhoun County, Illinois, "the land of the big red apple" (Alton, Ill.: Spicer Advertising Agency).
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityThe Big ApplePre-1920s • (0) Comments • Monday, July 12, 2004 • Permalink