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The First Washington Apple



The First Washington Apple

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.93

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    apple-producing, reportedly, legendary, production, agent, industry, historic, chief, farewell, banquet, leads, celebration, state, attraction, wilderness, west
     content words:    Johnny Appleseed, Fort Wayne, Columbia River, Bay Company, Fort Vancouver, Captain Aemilius Simmons, Washington Territory, Captain Simmons, John McLoughlin, Apple Tree


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The First Washington Apple
By Joyce Furstenau
  

1     Johnny Appleseed brought apples as far west as Fort Wayne, Indiana. His efforts to plant apple orchards are legendary, but that was as far west as he came. How then, did Washington, America's top apple-producing state, get its start in the apple industry?
 
2     Lewis and Clark reached the Columbia River in 1805. Their visit brought an interest in the Washington and Oregon territories. The Hudson's Bay Company established Fort Vancouver in 1824. Some of Washington's earliest settlers may have brought along a few apple seeds. Historians tell us, however, that it was Captain Aemilius Simmons who brought the first apple seeds that were planted in Washington Territory.
 
3     Captain Simmons was a visitor to Fort Vancouver in 1826. At that time, Dr. John McLoughlin was the chief agent of the Hudson's Bay Company. Historians say that Captain Simmons had been given a farewell banquet before leaving London to travel west. After the celebration, a young woman reportedly placed a few apple seeds in Simmons' pocket. She asked him to plant the seeds in the wilderness.

Paragraphs 4 to 5:
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