From Jefferson Public Radio:
Early orchardist Joseph H. Stewart paid pioneer photographer-horticulturalist Peter Britt $5,400 in 1885 for a house and acreage in southwest Medford, Ore. It was a tidy sum at the time.
Stewart planted pears, apples, and almonds and by 1890 shipped the area’s first commercial pears in railroad cars to outside markets.
A Spanish-American War veteran, Col. Gordon Voorhies, bought Stewart’s Eden Valley Orchards in 1898, increased its acreage, and extensively remodeled the home. One hundred years later, Tim and Anne Root purchased the Voorhies mansion and 27 acres from a Medford orchardist. The Roots, long-standing Jackson County pear growers and founders of the Sabroso fruit processing company, refurbished the columned Voorhies mansion and planted wine grapes. They expanded the mansion to 8,000 square feet of living space, including seven bedrooms and bathrooms, six fireplaces and manicured landscaping.
Eden Valley Orchards today has vineyards, a winery, a tasting room, and a summer jazz series. The beautiful scenery has not changed much since the first shipment of pears; however, wine-sipping is now accompanied by the mellow sounds of jazz floating in the air.