At the Curtis Vance Memorial Orchard, our dream is to find a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and to help others celebrate life and to remember their loved ones by visiting the memorial orchard, basking in the scenic views, and getting lost in the solitude, while being surrounded by "the fruits of life" in Northern Vermont. We are strongly committed to fulfilling both branches of our mission. We hope ALS research is soon "fruitful" and a cure for this terrible disease is discovered. However, long after a cure is found the Curtis Vance Memorial Orchard will live on and our established commitment to our family and friends who have passed will continue.
Each year money is raised and donated in search of a cure for ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease)and a major project is underway to keep the memory of all loved ones alive. The Apple Log Lodge significantly enhances the functionality of the orchard, providing a beautiful setting for special events, while not detracting from its spectacular surroundings as it blends in beautifully with the natural landscape.
'A natural sanctuary, a community memorial, and a celebration center on 120 secluded acres in Northern Vermont'
At the Heart of the Orchard
The Seed of Inspiration: In 1973, Curtis Vance was born into a Vermont family that has lived on and farmed the same land for over 200 years. This family has also battled Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) during that time and before. In 1999, at the age of 26, Curtis died of ALS as had his grandmother, aunts, and cousins before him. Curtis's fondest dream was to have his own apple orchard and he had chosen the perfect spot. To fulfill his dream, the orchard was located near his favorite deer stand at the family's "back farm".
The Planting: Curtis's valiant struggle with ALS brought the extended community together in mind and spirit. The spring following his passing, community members, family, and friends from near and far, came together to plant the Curtis Vance Memorial Orchard. For a $100 donation numerous people purchased and planted eighty live trees in memory of thier loved ones. The most unique planting was a beautiful "iron tree" designed by Joe Hallowell, a local welder. This artwork was placed upon a fieldstone foundation, made even more special when the family included a cornerstone selected from Curtis's great-grandmother's old sugar house, also located on the property.
The Growth: Over the years Curtis's family and friends have maintained their commitment to battle ALS, to expand the "Orchard Dream", and to Welcome ALL!
Photographs Taken of the Memorial Orchard