We sampled Cashmere – home of the world-famous Aplets and Cotlets fruit candy - on a recent trip to Eastern Washington.
This visit provided a bigger slice of the hospitality and warmth found in this tiny town tucked away in the orchard lands of Central Washington than we’d had on previous stops.
As a result, we are ready to go back real soon.
A stop in Cashmere, (population 3,100+) located along the Wenatchee River, feels like entering a Norman Rockwell painting.
Along its Cottage Avenue, we strolled past late 19th and early 20th century bungalow-Craftsman homes with flowering gardens bordered by picket fences, wide porches, arched doorways and windows. Fifty-one of them make up a historic district listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Cashmere’s history dates back to 1860 when a Catholic Mission was established along a nearby creek to serve the Indians of the area. The town that grew up was named Mission. It continued to be called Mission until 1904 when -- and here’s where the stories differ – either a founding father went to India and came back saying this town reminded him of Kashmir or . . .
. . .as www.historylink.org explains, “Judge James Harvey Chase (1831-1928) suggested the name Cashmere from a popular and sentimental poem, “Lalla Rookh,” by Sir Thomas Moore, extolling the mountainous beauty of the Vale of Kashmir in Himalayan India. The judge had once been a teacher of elocution, famed for his public readings, and no doubt this poem was part of his repertoire.”
Mission Avenue, a block from Cottage Avenue, is home to Liberty Orchards (makers of Aplets and Cotlets) factory/store and to Mission Square, 207 Mission Avenue.
This renovated fruit packing house is home to more than 30 businesses including several winery tasting rooms, a spirit distillery, a coffee and gelato shop, tavern and in the basement we discovered the delightful workshop and showroom of a furniture-from-wine-barrel maker. (that's one of his tables is pictured here).
If You Go:
From Seattle driving time is about 2 ½ hours. Either head east over Highway 2 via Stevens Pass or over Interstate 90 and Highway 97 (Blewett Pass).
Village Inn Motel, 229 Cottage Avenue, near the historic cottages and an easy walk to Mission Square. 21 guest rooms. 509-782-3522. www.cashmerevillageinn.com
Mission Creek Cider Mill and Guest Suites, 5420 Woodring Canyon Road. Two rooms in a renovated 1910 house overlooking an orchard, 866-459-9614, www.washingtonapplecountry.com.
Information about the area:
Cashmere Chamber of Commerce, 509-782-7404 or www.cashmerechamber.com.
Wenatchee Valley Visitors Bureau, 800-572-7753 or www.wenatcheevalley.org.
Some ideas for you:
The Cashmere Museum and Pioneer Village, 600 Cotlets Way. www.cashmeremuseum.org.
Liberty Orchards, 117 Mission Ave. Free factory tours daily. www.libertyorchards.com.
Mission Creek Cider Mill and Guest Suites, 5420 Woodring Canyon Road. Cider tastings. Snack bar. Cooking classes. www.washingtonapplecountry.com.
Mission Square: Among the businesses housed in this renovated 1937 pear packing house are:
Snapdragon Coffee Shop and Gelato – home of “Snappy Hour” a take on Happy Hour drinks but all made with juices or coffees; non-alcoholic (www.facebook.com/SnapDragonCoffeeShop)
It's Five O'Clock Somewhere (www.5oclocksomewheredistillery.com)
The Waterville Winery (www.watervillewine.com)
Crayelle Cellars (www.crayellecellars.com)
Horan Estates Winery (www.horanestateswinery.com)
Dutch John Wines (http://dutchjohnwines.com)
Devil's Gulch Drinkery (www.devilsgulchdrinkery.com)
Wine Design, custom wine barrel products, (www.winedesignllc.com)
Photos: In order: Aplets and Cotlets factory (free tours are available to the public), street scenes of Cashmere, table from a wine barrel in the entry of Mission Square, Mission Creek Cider Mill, Pioneer Village at the Museum, Mission Creek Cider bottles.
Note: We have visited Cashmere several times in the last few years. But thanks go to Marcia Janke at the Wenatchee Valley Visitors Bureau and Marcia Green of the Cashmere Cider Mill and SnapDragon Coffee for setting up the tour and tasting at Mission Square that we took in July.