Nugget of Knowledge: Johnny Appleseed

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Len Rome's Daily Feature of Little Known Facts

LISBON, Ohio (WYTV) – The Johnny Appleseed Festival returns to Lisbon in Columbiana County on Sept. 21 and 22.

You will find old-fashioned apple butter, apple fritters, apple dumplings and apple ice cream.

Why Lisbon and who is this Appleseed fellow?

He was a real person that Disney brought to a nationwide audience in a 1948 film.

John Chapman was born in September of 1776 in Massachusetts. His father was a Revolutionary War soldier.

Chapman traveled widely, particularly in Pennsylvania and Ohio, including Columbiana County as an apple orchard planter.

By planting orchards, he could claim land at the frontier if no one else had claimed it first.

Then he would return after several years to sell off the orchard and the surrounding land. He owned some 1,200 acres when he died in March of 1845.

The trees that Chapman planted did not produce apples good to eat. Rather, his small, tart apples went to make hard cider.

After his death, Chapman’s image developed into the pioneer folk hero Johnny Appleseed.

Festivals and statues appeared all over the northeastern and mid-western United States, and Appleseed is the official folk hero of Massachusetts.

By the 1920’s, most of the trees he planted were gone. The government chopped them down so people could not use the apples to make hard cider.

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