A family history of Dr. Archie Van Doren
Editor’s note: This history was provided to The World by Archie’s son and daughter-in-law, Fritz and Donna Van Doren.
On June 18, 1910, Archie was born in Del Rio, Douglas County, Washington. Del Rio only had a couple of buildings and with little land to farm, Pop Van Doren , Archie’s father, moved the buildings with his stem engines to Mansfield, WA thus Archie was the first baby in Mansfield. During his early years, his family moved to the Wenatchee Valley. As a boy, he worked in the apple industry making bushel sized wooden apple boxes. Archie’s interest in the apple industry led him to attend WSU and then on to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York where he majored in the study of fruits, earning his doctorate in Pomology. Archie developed Control Atmosphere Storage and is known as “Father of CA”. This invention allows the prolong storage of apples for up to a full year. Today CA is used to store many fruits and vegetables.
Upon graduation, he accepted a professor’s position at Ohio State University followed a short time later with a move to Pullman with his growing family where he accepted a professor’s position at WSU. Eventually Archie and family returned to the Wenatchee Valley. He became the Superintendent of the Washington State Experiment Station in Wenatchee
A legacy in the valley, Archie loved God, his family, community and Boy Scouts. He was a community leader and volunteer who lived the Boy Scout Law and Motto all the days of his life. He was a humble man working for the good of the community and scouting was high on his list. As a young boy, Archie climbed the hills at Scout-a-Vista with his brothers, and later as a Scout Leader with his own Troop including his son Fritz. He made five-gallon buckets of strawberry and raspberry freezer jam as a special treat for Scouts attending camp at Scout –a-Vista.
While in Ohio, Archie was the Sea Scoutmaster, purchasing a burned out boat that became a project for the scouts. They worked for two years to rebuild the cabin and make the “The Aiello” sea worthy once again. One afternoon a sailing trip Archie along with his wife, Irene, Fritz as a young baby and his Mother- in- law ran into some rough waters. Asking his Mother – in – law to go below deck to get out of the wind and waves and when she refused repeatedly Archie tied her to the mast! Better to be tied to the boat then to be overboard!
His mother- in – law never sailed with him again!
The boat was rocking so badly that when Archie went below deck to check on his wife and young son, the dishes were falling out of the cupboards and breaking. At that point Archie started tossing the “fine china” crystal stemware and dishes “out the porthole”. Easier to toss out glasses in one piece. “Out the porthole” has remained in use by the family ever since.
Upon his retirement from the Experiment Station, and as Chelan Co PUD Commissioner, Archie along with Leonard Wells and Gene Vanderheyden spent Wednesdays at Scout-a-Vista doing little projects to enhance and maintain the camp property. Our family lovingly referred to them as “The Three Musketeer’s”. For a long time, Archie had seen the necessity of bathrooms with flushing toilets and showers and set about making this a reality with help from the community.
Bill Dalton said when he first arrived in Wenatchee as the District Executive, Archie took me under his wing and an invitation to lunch led to meetings, previously arranged by Archie, with many of the scouting supporters. Everyone knew Archie and Archie knew no strangers and was always happy to help others shine.
The Scout-a-Vista Lodge was named in honor of Archie for his years of support and volunteer work for BSA. Archie’s son and daughter-in-law Fritz and Donna wanted a more permanent marker and reached out to Len Anderson, Tom Leonard and fellow scouts along with John Warren at BSA Grand Columbia Council for permission to erect the Dr. Archie Van Doren Heritage Marker. Permission was granted and Brian Parsons and Don Mallard from Pipkin Construction and an excavator from Valley Tractor graciously donated their time and equipment and the marker was placed. M&E Memorial will sand blast the Scout Law and the Dr. Archie Van Doren’s name on the marker.
Archie passed away on January 8, 1986, after having volunteered one last time for SME, a fund raiser for BSA.
Dedication of Dr. Archie Van Doren Heritage marker will be June 16, 2018 at 10:00 at the Lodge at Scout-a-Vista. All are welcome to attend with refreshments following a short program.
Funds for the Heritage Marker are tax deductible and may be sent to the Community Foundation of North Central Washington at www.cfncw.org or 9 S. Wenatchee Ave, Wenatchee, WA 98801.
Please note funds for “Dr Archie Van Doren Heritage Marker” on your gift. Funds raised beyond cost of marker will be used for maintenance of Van Doren Lodge in years to come.
Scoutmaster PQ Gill was one of Archie’s early mentors and scout leaders.
Archie’s Eagle Scout photo was gifted back to the family by the Gill family in 1998.