In 1813, Michael Bowerman built a cabin two miles south of what later became Romeo. Bowerman carried a small number of peach pits from his father’s farm in New York, introducing the popular fruit to Macomb County and establishing the roots of today’s Westview Orchards. In 1931, hoping for an economic boost, area orchard managers convinced village president Edward Jacob to create a festival. Jacob embraced the idea and traveled to northern Michigan to study the Michigan Cherry Festival in Traverse City. Upon his return, the first annual peach festival was held with much success with the cooperation of local merchants. Held on Labor Day weekend in Romeo, and called the Romeo Peach Festival by the locals, the Michigan Peach Festival has been sponsored by the Lions Club since 1951 and is the second-oldest festival in the state. In honor of the 75th anniversary, a collection of over 200 photographs has been assembled, including images of Peach Queens, the Floral Parade, and the surrounding orchards.
About the Author
Author David McLaughlin, a 40-year resident of Romeo, is a member of the Romeo Historical Society. His articles have appeared in the Romeo Observer and the Detroit music monthly Jam Rag, and he has published two books on local music, Mother’s and Others and Rockin’ at the Limberlost. McLaughlin is the author of Romeo, published in the Images of America series in 2004.