Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Grapes, history and jam

The staff at the historic Stone-Otis House, over the years, has made grape jelly from the vine in back of the 1830 homestead, but this year, without any attention from the gardeners, the vine has flourished and found its way here and there, according to a release.

Recently, Jan Clarke and Orange Historical Society President Ginny Reinhard cut the grape clusters, which totaled more than 30 pounds, the greatest yield ever seen produced by the vine, the release said., Normally when making one jelly batch, 6 pints are produced. Each batch produced 10, 8 ounce jars, the release said.

“It is understood that Mr. Dennis Stone, planted the vine where it is located, using a letter to his nephews, Fred and Clark Stone, to send him some shoots as he had moved to Twelve Mile Creek in Kansas in the mid 1800's to help his son, Legrand start a community of New Haven families there,” the release said.

“Since Mrs. (Sarah) Stone had died earlier, we can assume that the grapes, in Kansas, would be for wine but…can imagine that while her children were growing up that she too made jelly, maybe even jam.”

Society members are “sure Mr. Stone would be very happy to know that the Orange Historical Society has kept his precious plant alive and well.  It has not been neglected over the years but this year, it did itself proud, all by itself,” the release said.

The Stone-Otis House will be open Oct. 3 and Oct. 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and by appointment by calling  203-795-3106.

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