David Edward Hull
August 12, 1932 - January 7, 2014
‘Apple Dave’, as he was affectionately known since youth founded and owned Applewood Orchards, which was renamed “Apple Dave’s Orchard” in his honor. Since early youth he dreamed of becoming an apple grower and remained committed to that goal with an uncommon love and passion for agriculture.
David’s parents, Dr. Donald and Dorothy Hull, purchased the oldest farm in Orange County in 1949 and with the help of family, friends, and Warwick neighbors transformed it into one of our county’s premiere orchards.
Apple Dave studied pomology at Cornell University and journalism at Columbia. In 1955 he returned to the farm after military service in Korea and began raising livestock, peaches, and apples. In the mid-1970s, he was one of the earliest local farmers to establish a pick-your-own operation and it became a great success, today drawing tens of thousands of consumers annually. A few years ago the apple orchard and the winery Dave founded were featured in a CNBC television report ‘How to Succeed in Business’. David was a visionary, marketing his fresh apples from vending machines in local schools in the late 1950s. After sustaining a serious auto accident in 1962 he invented a seatbelt alarm system similar to ones that became mandatory on all vehicles many years later.
In the 1960s and early 70s David combined his seasonal farming with real estate working as a broker for Wilfred L. Raynor and Barbara White. He played a key role with local designer, David Brandt and John Sanford, Sr., in creating for the Warwick Historical Society a revolving fund through which owners of numerous historic buildings secured low-interest loans to capitalize restorations. He also helped to establish the local Architectural Review Board. Apple Dave’s love of trees inspired him and a group of local Warwickians to establish the first town shade tree commission in New York State. Working with then Assemblyman Benjamin Gilman and local attorney Jack Beattie they devised a law designed to protect and preserve local street trees. David also served on the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals and was an advocate in the early 1960s of farmland preservation.