Jim's grandfather and grandmother, Burr and Rebecca Breshears, came to the state of Washington in 1902. They settled in Okanogan County, which is in the north-central part of the state. At first, they homesteaded in the northern part of the county, building a two-story log home where they had to haul water for a quarter of a mile.
In 1910, Burr and Rebecca moved to the central part of Okanogan County to a town that one year later would officially be called Omak. Here they bought property overlooking Omak and built their new home and started their orchard which is today known as "Grandpa's Home Place." Here they raised nine children, of which Jim's mother, Hilda, was one.
Hilda and her husband, Wilbur, took over the farm when Burr died in 1941. Jim and his sister, Becky, are their children. They were raised on the orchard, learning the value of hard work.
When Wilbur died as a result of an orchard accident, Jim took over the orchard. He has been running the orchard since 1980. Jim and Sandee were married in 1992, and with her children, Tory and Shea, they became a farm family.
Shea especially showed a love for apple trees at a young age. As he grew, he learned more about heirloom apples and their histories. He started collecting heirloom scion wood nearly a dozen years ago; now we have about 300 varieties that are preserved! With these genetics, we created Iron Root Orchards. Tory decided on a career other than farming, but now has given us six beautiful grandchildren and a lovely daughter-in-law.
Here are some pictures that have been taken of the family over the years (hover over the photo for a description):