I was born in 1876 on the farm where that apple tree later became famous. My dad was L. L. Mullins, who owned the farm. "Now one day, when I was about 15 years old, that would have been about 1891, dad sent me out with a big old mowin' scythe to mow the pasture field. "I was swingin' away with the scythe when I came across a little apple tree that had grown about 20 inches tall. It was just a new little apple tree that had volunteered there. There wasn't another apple tree right close by anywhere..."I thought to myself, 'Now young feller, I'll just leave you there,' and that's what I did. I mowed around it and on other occasions I mowed around it again and again, and it grew into a nice lookin' little apple tree and eventually it was a big tree and bore apples." Charleston Daily Mail 1962.
Stories like this about any kind of wonderful, world changing discovery are few and far between. They deserve to be told repeatedly and, in this case, West Virginia deserved perpetual credit for the discovery and propagation of the Golden Delicious. The official website of the Stark Brothers Nursery gives only this brief account of the tree: " In 1914, Paul Stark Sr. discovered an apple with an outstanding flavor that was sweet and juicy with a hint of zest." The Stark Brothers' side of the story can be seen at this address: The Stark Brothers' Story . The official story of the Golden Delicious Apple can be found on the website of the Clay County Golden Delicious Apple Festival . I am sure that somewhere in all the differing versions of the story that the real story lies waiting to be written firmly in stone. But the one thing on which the world seems to agree is that the Golden Delicious Apple was a product of Clay County West Virginia and is one of the greatest products Appalachia has ever produced. It is a story of which every Appalachian should be proud.