The land where Mapleside Farms sits was first settled by the Tillotson family from Massachusetts. They were drawn to the area in 1817 by the incredibly fertile soil. Elmer and Clara Eyssen bought the farm from the Tillotson family in 1927 and moved their family from Lakewood way out into the country to what is now known as Brunswick, OH. At that time the land consisted of the current property plus many acres across Pearl Road as well as some property on Center Road/Rte. 303. In the earlier years of this beautiful farm, a large stand of maple trees on the side of the hill were used for maple syrup production and became Elmer and Clara’s inspiration for naming their land, Mapleside Farms.
Elmer and Clara Eyssen in 1927
The Eyssens were avid gardeners and soon grew more produce than their family could consume. They set up a table and umbrella alongside Pearl Road to sell their surplus harvest. Soon the stand became a popular stopping point for travelers on their way to Cleveland.
On Elmer’s travels, he met an apple farmer and became very interested in the growing of apples. He began by planting several apple trees at Mapleside. Once word got around and demand increased for his delicious apples, he quickly expanded his orchard. Elmer soon moved on from the table and umbrella into a store that sold peaches, pears, apples, and apple cider poured right from a wooden barrel during the fall harvest season.
Their youngest son, affectionately called Apple Bill, graduated from Ohio State with a major in pomology, the growing of fruit. Bill returned to Mapleside, married his OSU sweetheart, Jane, and together they grew their budding fruit stand into one of the premier roadside markets in Ohio, often sharing their experiences with other farmers at conventions across the state.
In 1962, the Apple House was opened, with the massive stone fireplace that visitors still enjoy today.
Elmer Eyssen With His Children in the 90’s