Musselman's: A Family Favorite for Over 100 Years
It all started in 1907, when John S. Musselman, Sr. and his two sons, John Jr. and
Christian High, purchased the Biglerville Canning Company, located in the heart
of Pennsylvania apple country. Four short years later, Christian and his wife, Emma,
became the sole owners.
Following a successful first year of running the company, Christian and Emma began
building a second canning facility in Gardners, Pennsylvania. The plant was up and running
by 1913. This new plant, and the original one in Biglerville, provided much needed
canned goods for the servicemen during World War I, including corn, tomatoes and
As the company became more successful, and the demand for their products increased,
Mr. Musselman decided that it was necessary to build a third plant. So in 1920,
construction began on a large canning facility and vinegar distillery in Inwood,
West Virginia. One of Mr. Musselman's greatest achievements would occur at this
plant. With the ongoing war, there was no machinery available to manufacture apple
sauce; so Mr. Musselman, being the entrepreneur that he was, built his own. By 1934,
Musselman's apple sauce production had tripled.
Mr. Musselman was also keenly interested in agriculture and soil development. He
pioneered several new and valuable soil development methods. In the early 1920's,
his crop rotation discoveries led to the first ever planting of Montmorency Red
Tart Cherries in the area. Cherries were always one of Mr. Musselman's favorites.
In 1928, a preserves plant was built in Biglerville for the manufacturing of apple
butter and jellies. 1929 was a big year for Musselman's. In that year, they began
canning cherries and started their own trucking fleet that shipped Musselman's products
all over the eastern United States. After all, a great product should be shared.
The Musselman family, devout Mennonites of Pennsylvania Dutch descent, was inspired
by much more then producing good food. They felt a keen sense of community obligation
and created the Musselman Foundation in 1942. Over the course of 65 years, the foundation
has continued to support the local communities by donating to schools, colleges,
libraries, and hospitals.
In 1944, Mr. Musselman passed away. Production Manager John A. Hauser became the
president of the Musselman Company and Musselman Foundation. Emma remained Vice
President until her death in 1966. Their daughter, Mrs. L. Musselman Arnold, continued
as Secretary and second Vice President of the Corporation. Over the next few decades,
the Musselman Company became a leading brand of apple sauce in American grocery
stores, and won over generations of families with their "Quality You Can Taste."
In 1984 the C. H. Musselman Company was purchased by a cooperative of local fruit
growers (Knouse Foods Cooperative). The Musselman's name, which reflected tradition
and value, was preserved and remains a thriving brand today under the ownership
of the growers that tend the fruit orchards.
The Musselman Company has a long list of achievements, including: the first apple
sauce in single serving cups, the first apple sauce in 48 oz. plastic jars, the
first apple sauce to be sweetened with Splenda, and one of the first apple sauces
in 24 oz. plastic jars.
The Musselman's brand has grown quite a bit since, and now includes a wide variety
of apple sauces — including apple sauce blended with other fruit flavors and lite
apple sauce flavors that are great for those who are counting calories.
Today, the grower-owned cooperative provides a livelihood for nearly 600 farming
families. Carefully tending to almost 70,000 acres of fruit orchards, our growers
produce a variety of fruits, including apples, tart cherries, peaches and blueberries.
Musselman's continues to provide generations of satisfied families with a harvest
of quality apple sauces and apple juices.