Apple Hill Orchard
The story of Apple Hill Orchard & Cider Mill is the story of the American family farm, tracing its farming roots to the 1700s.
Spencer Prewitt began the family tradition by growing apples in a time before modern convinces. Instead of selling his produce to a local general store, Spencer loaded a horse-drawn wagon and traveled to the piedmont of North Carolina. Along the way, he slept under the wagon, sold or bartered his fruit, and ate his wife Sara’s fried apple pies as he traveled.
Julius, Spencer’s son, followed in his father’s footsteps and continued to grow apples. Julius and his wife Lilly had twelve children. Two of the children inherited the apple growing gene and either purchased or planted their own orchards. Harley Prewitt Sr., Julius’ son, purchased an existing orchard that became known as Apple Hill Orchard & Cider Mill in 1955.
At first, Harley Sr. sold his harvest in the manner of his grandfather, peddling apples from the back of an old 1950 Chevrolet truck. Over time, apples were sold at the orchard. In later years, additional trees were planted, and apples were sold through packing houses. The South Mountain Packing House was built in the 1970’s by local growers, including Harley. Over time, the market for selling fruit through packing houses became more difficult, and the packing house closed.
In an effort to maintain the farm, the Prewitt family began planting new varieties of apples and went back to their roots of selling apples directly to customers. A new grading line and cold storage facility were added on site. Harley Prewitt Jr. knew the economies of farming and knew Apple Hill Orchard needed to diversify the farm. In the mid 1990s, the farm began offering school tours, installed a commercial cider press, and began selling cider in its market. Harley Prewitt Jr. and his wife Gayle opened the orchard for u-pick in the early 2000s. Shortly thereafter, a bakery was built, followed by a farm market.
Today, we welcome thousands of visitors each fall to join in the harvest. The 5th generation of apple growers, Justin Prewitt, has joined the farm, and the family tradition continues.