A Philadelphia staple, Linvilla Orchards is turning 100 this year (though we swear it doesn’t look a day over 40). To commemorate the occasion I spoke with Paul Linvill of the founding family to hear firsthand how the business has changed over the years. Here’s a little history from those 100 years:
HUMBLE BEGINNINGS: In 1914, Arthur Linvill and mother Lydia bought a dairy farm, shipping fresh milk and cream to Swarthmore. But Arthur had another dream – to grow peaches. Linvilla Orchards was born out of that dream. The trees were promptly planted and the fruit was sold out of a horse-drawn wagon.
MAKING A SPLASH: In the late 1920s, Arthur opened a swim hole for families to cool off in over the summer. The cost for a seasonal pool pass back then? Around a dollar. During this time the Linvills charged just 5 cents a pound for their peaches.
THE “VILLA” IN LINVILLA: Paul says his father Arthur decided to incorporate the word “villa” into the family name to convey a sense of relaxation. Over the years, Linvilla has added offerings like swim clubs, seasonal displays, mazes, hayrides and more to appeal to all walks of life.
Happy 100th anniversary Linvilla!