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Our History


A Working Family Fruit Orchard

The Vega Brothers, Frank (b. 11/7/1887) and Tony (b. 11/3/1891) were prominent among the considerable Portuguese community at Newcastle throughout the twentieth century. They came as workers and when Tony made enough, he rented a farm which he managed with his brother Frank who joined him in Newcastle in 1911. The brothers leased the Kellogg orchard for six years and did so well that they were able to buy an orchard the next year of forty-five acres in Newcastle on which they planted various kinds of fruit.

In October of that year, they commenced to erect a stately fourteen room house into which they moved the following May. Members of the Vega family continued to sell fruit to area residents from the family orchard long after the closing of Newcastle's "Fruithouse Row."

With this sampling of "friends and neighbors" who turned once barren granite hills into Newcastle, Gem of the Foothills, it is our hope that this peek into Newcastle's past will stimulate its leaders of today to retain the time-honored characteristics of friendship, neighborliness and sense of community when planning the Newcastle of tomorrow.

*excerpt from the book, Newcastle, Gem Of The Foothills written by Leonard M. Davis, 1993

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