Historical Trees of MVHS: Johnny Appleseed

                                                        JOHNNY APPLESEED RAMBO APPLE                                                                                     

    Hello, we are Cameron Robinson and Jonathan Allard from Medomak Valley High School, in the Horticulture 2 class and Heirloom Seed Project. Here at MVHS, there is a historal arboretum with many trees that have a plethora of history behind them. One in particular, is the Johnny Appleseed Rambo Apple Tree (Roberts, 2011, p. 16). This tree was donated to the Medomak Valley High School Heirloom Seed Project by Laura Freeman, an art teacher in the school district (Roberts, 2011, p. 16). As Roberts (2011) says, "Freeman is a fourth cousin, five times removed from Johnny Appleseed" (p. 16). 

    On September 26, 1774, John Chapman, also known as Johnny Appleseed, was born in Leominster, Massachusetts to his father, Nathaniel Chapman, and his mother, Elizabeth Chapman (Johnny Appleseed, 2015). Nathaniel Chapman was in the Battle of Concord and in the Continenetal Army, serving for George Washington (Johnny Appleseed, 2015). Elizabeth Chapman, his wife, died of tuberculosis a few weeks after giving birth to one of Appleseed's siblings (Roberts, 2011, p. 16). In 1780, Nathaniel Chapman came home from the Continental Army, and married Lucy Cooley, and the two of them had ten children. Twelve years following his father's return, at the age of eighteen, he convinced his half brother Nathanial, at the age of eleven, to join Appleseed on his expedition (Famous Swedenborgians, 2015). 

Appleseed and his brother were said to have traveled along the Potomac River all the way to Fort Cumberland in Maryland. From there, they possibly traveled along the Monongahela River, near the Braddocks Road. It was said the two boys traveled this road

because there was less Indian traffic. They followed the Monongahela all the way to Pittsburg (Famous Swedenborgians, 2015). In 1805, the Chapman family met Appleseed and Nathaniel in Pittsburgh, and stayed there. Nathaniel decided he had enough of traveling, so Appleseed was left on his lonesome to travel alone (Famous Swedenborgians, 2015). He continued traveling particularly through Pennsylvania and Ohio, as he, "...sold, bartered, and gave trees to the pioneer settlers" (Roberts, 2011, p. 16). If you were to see Appleseed, you may have seen him wearing a white shirt, suspenders, saggy, worn pants, along with a, "...tin pot he occasionally wore on his head" (Roberts, 2011, p. 16). Appleseed was also known for walking barefoot, and carrying a bag of apple seeds around with him. His supposedly favorite apple type was the Rambo Apple, the same type here at Medomak (Roberts, 2011, p. 16).

    Although Appleseed was well known for planting many, many apple trees, he is also a well known figure of the Swedenborg church, a variation of Christianity that believes, "Heaven and Hell are not rewards or punishments distributed on judgement day, but the present inner experience we freely choose" (Welcome (Our Beliefs), 2015). He spent much of his time as a missionary, spreading his beliefs. Along with his religious beliefs, he was never married because he didn't believe in marriage (Johnny Appleseed, 2015). It is widely accepted that Appleseed died March 18, 1845, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with 1,200 acres of land in his name (Johnny Appleseed, 2015). 

    From this we can see Appleseed led an interesting lifestyle, and we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to preserve his legacy and history here at Medomak Valley High School Heirloom Seed Project.

By: Cameron Robinson and Jonathan Allard


Famous Swedenborgians - John Chapman ("Johnny Appleseed"). (n.d.). Retrieved May 14, 2015,     from http://swedenborg.org/FamousSwedenborgians/JohnChapman.aspx

John "Johnny Appleseed" Chapman. (2001). Retrieved May 21, 2015, from http://                www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=1848

Johnny Appleseed. (2015). The Biography.com website. Retrieved 12:12, May 08, 2015.             Retrieved from http://www.biography.com/people/johnny-appleseed-38103.

The Legend of Johnny Appleseed. (2003). American Forests: Historic Tree Nursey, 18-19.

    Retrieved from http://swedenborg.org/FamousSwedenborgians/JohnChapman.aspx

Menu. (2013, March 17). Retrieved May 21, 2015, from https://americanorchard.wordpress.com/    tag/johnny-appleseed/

Roberts, P. (2011, August 25). Johnny "Appleseed" tree planted in MVHS Living History             Arboretum. Lincoln County News, p. 16.

Welcome (Our Beliefs). (n.d.). Retrieved May 14, 2015, from http://swedenborg.org/Beliefs.aspx

01453 Zip Code Detailed Profile. (n.d.). Retrieved May 22, 2015, from http://www.city-            data.com/zips/01453.html