In 1809, the same year Abraham Lincoln was born, Chauncey Merriman, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, purchased a small farm on the south end of the Shuttle Meadow Lake and planted some apple trees.
His son Anson impulsively planted a thousand Baldwin trees when this variety was still relatively unknown, taking a risk that proved to be successful. Anson’s son Josiah planted some peaches, and his daughter Sarah’s husband, Elijah Rogers, dared to plant 7,000 peach trees, one of the first farmers in Connecticut to grow peaches commercially.
Each successive generation in the Rogers’ family has taken their chances with farming in Connecticut, where the weather can be as much of a risk as market forces. The farm currently grows 20 varieties of apples, 10 varieties of peaches, as well as pears, plums, nectarines, and apricots under the management of John Rogers, Chauncey’s great, great, great, great grandson, his son Peter and daughter Martha and his son-in-law Greg Parzych.
Click on the dates below to scroll through the Rogers Orchards historical timeline.
Chauncey Merriman, an early settler of Southington and a veteran of the Revolutionary War, purchases a farm from Ebenezer Evans on the southern end of Shuttle Meadow Lake.
They begin to farm the land that is now known as Rogers Orchards.
Anson Merriman takes a risk by planting 1,000 Baldwin apple trees, knowing nothing of their market value.
Anson also plants an acre of cucumbers, intending to start a pickle business. His efforts earn him the nickname "Old Pickles".
Elijah Rogers marries Sarah Merriman, one of Josiah’s daughters.
By 1916, Elijah expands the operation by planting 3,500 apple trees and 7,000 peach trees.
Harold Rogers, a true innovator, tries selling apples in vending machines, calling this venture "Fruit-O-Matic".
He also develops and markets an apple concentrate called the “Apple Dapple”.
Frank "Bud" Rogers purchases land in the Marion section of Southington and opens Rogers Orchards Sunnymount Farm.
The new salesroom was one of the first all electric salesrooms in Connecticut.
John Rogers assumes his present role as president of Rogers Orchards.
He expands the retail business by adding farm bakeries and grows the wholesale business by providing a number of Connecticut grocery stores with fresh, locally grown fruit.
Peter Rogers, one of John’s sons, Greg Parzych, John’s son-in-law, and Martha Rogers, one of John’s daughters, join the business.
The new addition to the Rogers family team marks the eighth generation to work the land.