Fruit pioneer Archie Van Doren is memorialized with monument at Scout-a-Vista
As the father of controlled atmosphere storage, Archie Van Doren was of the most influential individuals in the development of the tree fruit industry in this state. Controlled Atmosphere storage, which Van Doren was a key promoter and innovator, revolutionized the industry and created the opportunity for expanding the marketing of local fruit.
Fritz and Donna Van Doren, Archie’s son and his wife, stopped by the office recently to talk about the heritage marker dedication in Archie’s honor that will be held at the camp on Saturday, June 16 at 10 a.m.
Scouting was a lifelong passion for Archie, who achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and, during his lifetime, earned every major Scouting award. When he was living in Ohio, he bought a derelict sailboat and fitted it out for a Sea Scout program. Donna and Fritz Van Doren said one of the funny family memories is when the weather got rough on an outing and he lashed his mother-in-law to the mast to keep her safe.
Archie was born in Del Rio and the family later moved to Mansfield. Archie did his undergraduate work at Washington State University and got interested in apple physiology and the chemical process that takes place when fruit ripens. He went on to get his doctorate at Cornell University.
Archie headed the Tree Fruit Research Station until 1962 and was deeply involved in the community, serving as a Chelan County Public Utility District Commissioner and chairing the local United Way campaign.
The lodge at Scout-A-Vista is named for Van Doren, but his family thought it would be fitting to do something more to celebrate Archie’s impact. They came up with the idea for a stone pillar to be placed in front of the lodge. One side will have the Scout emblem and Scout Law sandblasted into the stone and the other side will have information about Archie’s contributions.
Notoriety, it must be said, is the last thing Archie would have wanted, Fritz and Donna told me. He preferred to quietly make contributions in the community without any fanfare. But they hope that raising awareness will keep the spirit of community contribution alive and well in our valley.
Like all of these great community projects, folks have been stepping up to help out. Brian Parsons and Don Mounter of Pipkin Construction found the stone and supervised the installation of the pillar, Valley Tractor made an excavator available to seat the memorial in the ground and M&E Memorial Markers will be doing the sandblasting.
Contributions to help pay for the expenses of the project can be made to the Community Foundation of North Central Washington with a notation that it’s for the Van Doren Heritage Marker. The address is 9 S. Wenatchee Ave, Wenatchee, Wa 98801.
It’s great that Archie Van Doren’s accomplishments and influence will be memorialized in this way. He was a real community builder.