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About the Orchard Hills Golf & Country Club

Orchard Hills bears witness in name to an industry that once successfully operated throughout Southwest Washington and North Central Oregon.

Up until the end of the 1920's, prune orchards could be found in abundance. Their harvest represented a significant contribution to the area economy and they thrived in the local climate. Along with our club, Prune Hill (west of Camas), and the community of Orchards, were aptly named to designate their presence. Many locals can remember the fully-equipped prune dryer located mid-way between Camas and Vancouver, which was set up to process the crop.

W.H. Wood , known by his friends as Billy Wood, owned and operated one such orchard which was located a short distance east of Washougal near the newly constructed Evergreen highway. The 39-acre property, which is now the home of the front nine, had been acquired by the Wood family in 1911 and proved to be an ideal location in terms of maintenance and yield. Wood was a knowledgeable prune orchard operator and had considerable influence at key levels of the crop processing cycle.

During the latter part of the 1920's, Wood felt that, in order for the local prune farming industry to continue, certain specific changes would have to take place. California-based operations were rapidly gaining market share because of improved operations through cooperative farming and processing. Wood set out to convince the locals that a similar cooperative should, and must, be organized in order to survive. His organization efforts were unsuccessful; and by the end of the decade, prune orchard farming in the area ceased to exist as a profitable venture.

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