Bowman Orchards History
Bowman Orchards was originally owned by Elizabeth Shepherd & her family back in the 1800’s.
Elizabeth Shepherd was the sister of John Macintosh
(The man whom the Macintosh apple is named after)
The Shepherd family are all buried right here on the farm in the cemetery located in the center of the orchard.
Rexford has always been a prime area to grow apple trees because the Erie Canal is right down the street; Farmers would pick the apples and put them in barrels then load them onto the barges to ship them off.
Ray & Bev Bowman bought the farm in 1952, and opened for business that same fall season. Ray and Bev had 5 children Danny, Dave, Jackie, Kevin, & Rick, they lived in the main brick house which you all see while driving up the farm driveway! Over the years as their children grew and started their own families each child was offered an acre of land from the farm to build a house on; Dave Built and lives in the white house which sits at the new weekend Orchard entrance, Rick built the brown house which is next to Dave’s house and in front of the HUGE pond, & Kevin Built the blue house which sits next to Ricks house and situated in the middle of the orchard. Rick and Jackie both moved off the farm and Danny the oldest unfortunately died in a tractor accident when he was just 19 years old.
The original store was simply the tiny little area outside covered with a canopy using apple bins as tables. We then moved into Bev and Rays small two car garage which would have been located on the orchard exit road where the new garage currently sits. In that small little garage was not only the Pick your own exit, but the store, and bakery all in one area. Over the years Ray and Bev worked side by Side with their son Kevin, who together expanded the farm little by little each year! They then moved into the store we are currently in now and re routed traffic straight up the driveway and between the two barns which back then were the new store and the farm equipment shop.
Once we grew too large to keep everything in one main store we decided we needed a bakery and decided we would cut the work shop in half & take up 2 of the 4 bays in the work shop to make our bakery. Well after about 2 years we realized that the small 2 bays we turned into the bakery was just not big enough to suit our needs! So once again we expanded the bakery so that now the entire work shop was converted into the bakery that is currently here today.
In 2004 Kevin, his wife Martha, and their children bought the farm from Ray and Bev and took over full responsibilities of running the operation. Since the purchase in 2004 Kevin and his family have been working hard at improving and expanding the business each and every year!
Kevin and Martha are now sharing operation of the farm with 2 of the 3 children and hope to one day pass along ownership of the farm to the 3rd generation so they can then pass it along to the 4th generation!
The orchard is now home for 5 families, & 4 generations of Bowman’s, and is full time job and only source of income for 3 of those families.
Click Here for a History of Bowman Orchards Written by Ray Bowman
Click Here for Bowman Orchards history Updated to more recent years