Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Victoria Fowler
Gazette Reporter 

The Lost Apple Project set to meet Feb. 20


February 13, 2020

Dave Benscoter stops to take notes as a moose watches nearby.

The Palouse People series will present the Lost Apple Project on Thursday, Feb. 20, 7-8 p.m. at the Pullman Depot Heritage Center on 330 N. Grand Ave., in the Freight Room.

The Palouse People series occurs approximately every two months. Topics that have been covered before range from the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic and its impact on Colfax and Pullman to Washington State University's effort to record stories of WSU students who are members of the military.

"The Palouse People series is an occasional series of talks and events that showcase the people of the Palouse region," said Kathleen Ryan, of the Pullman Depot Heritage Center.

The mission of the Lost Apple Society is to identify and preserve heritage apple trees and orchards in the Inland Empire.

Led by David Benscoter, the Lost Apple Project has found more than 13 apple varieties that were once thought to be extinct since 2014.

Benscoter first became interested in apples after his neighbor in Chattaroy, Wash., asked for his help with some old trees on her property. Since his time helping his neighbor, Benscoter has been on the lookout for apple varieties that have become extinct.

The Regmalard is one of the Lost Apple Project's recent re-discovered varieties.

The Whitman County Historical Society partnered with Benscoter and the Lost Apple Project in 2016.

It is the goal of the Lost Apple Project volunteers to identify and map apple trees and orchards that were planted prior to 1920 in eastern Washington.

Volunteers of the Lost Apple Project have found in records that there were 250 different varieties of apples being grown in the region at that time and at least 25 of these apples are considered lost.

At the Feb. 20 meeting, Benscoter will announce several new rediscoveries.

"I have been surprised by the continued interest in this project by people all over the country," Benscoter said. "The Inland Empire right now is like a giant fossil dig site and the more we search the more lost apples we find."


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