The revival of the Dresden Melon Festival is a celebration of the area's rich melon-growing heritage, and provides a scenic family-friendly day of entertainment, food and activities for all ages, on the banks of the beautiful Muskingum River.
Dresden Melon History
Summer is a wonderful time for eating melons, and if you bite into an especially good, juicy one, you may have one of the famous Dresden Melons.
They are raised in the rich sandy bottom land along the Muskingum River, and are famous all over Ohio and even the nation. A former Dresden resident who now lives in Florida reported seeing a sign at a roadside stand that advertised DresdenMelons. When questioned about their origin, the sellers said they bought them as Dresden Melons.
The industry was begun in 1889 by J.W. Rose and his son Leroy, around Trinway. Another brother, Paul Rose, raised melons near Terre Haute, Ind. In Feb. 22, 1889 issue of the Dresden Doings, an item mentions that Leroy Rose had received acarload of basket glass covering to be used in melon culture. These were probably the first "hot caps."
The Rose family also manufactured berry, fruit and peach baskets at a mill just across the Wakatomika Creek at Midway. L. Swope of Trinway worked with the Roses and also raised melons. Many carloads were shipped to Cleveland and other eastern markets.
Theirs followed like Everett King and William Lacey, whose grandson, Bill Lacey, is still raising melons. Jim Lynn was afamous melon man, learning his methods from his grandfather, Mr. Coberly, who had raised melons in Virginia. Coberly settled on what is now the Leslie Krebs farm.