WV State Symbols

Golden Delicious Apple – The Official West Virginia State Fruit

“The GOLDEN DELICIOUS APPLE was designated as the official State Fruit by Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 7, adopted by the Legislature on February 20, 1995. This apple variety was discovered by Anderson Mullins in Clay County, West Virginia, in 1905. The plain apple had been previously designated as the official State Fruit by House Concurrent Resolution No. 56, adopted March 7, 1972.”  — (WV Blue Book)


“It all started with discovering the first golden delicious tree down by Porter Creek by Anderson Mullins over 100 years ago in 1912. The Stark Bros. Nursery completed the sale of this tree and began growing the now West Virginia State Fruit for almost 50 years. The Golden Delicious has become so popular among so many parts of the world that in 1972 we started the first Clay County Golden Delicious Festival, where the whole county came together for a great weekend of fun, excitement, and of course, delicious apples!”

wv state symbols

Explore “Clay County Golden Delicious Festival” Website


West Virginia history

” ‘Eureka! I found it!’ Those were the words of Paul Stark of Stark Brothers Nursery when he bit into a new and exciting apple in 1914.  He found that special apple on a thousand-mile treasure hunt which started…”

Official wv state symbols

Explore Goldenseal’s “Striking Gold in the Clay County Hills” article to continue reading  (pdf)


June 15, 2013

State fruit: Golden Delicious is world famous – In 1972, the generic apple was the state fruit. But years later, the Legislature picked the apple — the Golden Delicious developed in a Clay County orchard. In 1995, Sen. Lloyd Jackson sponsored a resolution to make the Golden Delicious the state apple. It was not a shoo-in. “A group of delegates voted against it, and Delegate Roy Givens, D-Brooke, told the House they couldn’t vote for the Golden Delicious apple knowing that the Grimes Golden apple was the first apple found in West Virginia,” the Charleston Gazette reported at the time.

Grimes Golden was discovered in Givens’ district (Wellsburg) about 1805, supposedly from a seed dropped by Johnny Appleseed. The tree producing Golden Delicious was found in 1912 in Clay County. “The tree was purchased by Stark Brothers Nursery, which built a cage around the tree and protected it for many years while propagating the Golden Delicious worldwide,” wrote Bob Schwarz, a former Gazette reporter, in 2006. By then, the Golden Delicious was the second most popular apple in the country.

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