Homesteaders Charles and Phoebe Poirier settled on the land that is now Brovold Orchard in 1899. They received a homestead patent on the land from President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. Later that same year, the homesteaders sold the land to prominent citizen and County Commissioner William Adams, who developed it into Rosehill Tourist Court, a motel with individual cabins, to accommodate the housing needs of a growing railroad community. Adams maintained the property until his retirement in the mid-1940s. It then went through a quick succession of owners until sold to Julius and Emma Brovold in 1952. The Brovolds continued the tourist court until selling the property to two sons, Norman and Phillip, and their wives in 1966.
|Norman and friend in the orchard|
|Norman in 2020 at age 90|
Bob & Jeanne Summerfield - Bob and Jeanne have owned the orchard since 2020. Jeanne, who is Norman's daughter, grew up on the property, and it has always felt like home to her. Bob first visited Alberton in 1970, and he has participated in orchard maintenance for many years. Bob and Jeanne strive to carry forward Norman's vision for the orchard and were the force behind creating the nonprofit organization known as Brovold Community Orchard.
Brovold Community Orchard is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable corporation in the State of Montana. For copies of our incorporation papers, IRS nonprofit letter of determination, bylaws, and related documents please go to this link. The nonprofit organization Brovold Community Orchard manages the orchard property under a lease agreement with the property owners.
Board of Directors
As a nonprofit charitable corporation, Brovold Community Orchard has a Board of Directors composed of volunteer representatives from within the community. The Board helps us plan and implement all the management activities that make the orchard a valuable community resource. Current members are:
Julie Van Hise, Secretary. I'm so happy to be a part of the Brovold Orchard Board! I live in the Nine Mile area and am owner, with my husband Chris, of 4 Bear Ranch. I've served on various non-profit boards for over 20 years and cannot wait for the adventures that await while serving on this board! I love working with the orchard and have learned so much from Bob's classes that it inspired me to plant our own orchard at the ranch. In fact, I learned so much from that first pruning class that I wanted to give back to the orchard and all that it stands for - so I joined the board! Hope to see you all at the many community volunteer events at the orchard!
Nick Manuele, Treasurer. Nick grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and studied photography
at Columbia College Chicago. Shortly after graduating, he moved to
Montana, drawn to the vast amount of public lands to explore. In 2005 he
joined the Montana Conservation Corps where he developed a love for
forestry and land stewardship. After a year of the MCC, Nick joined the
US Forest Service as a trails foreman and continued to work for them
for 12 years. Nick now spends his time building his home garden with his
wife, Kelly, and working to develop community gardens and
sustainable food sources.
Tina Reinicke, Director. Tina grew up in the Bitterroot Valley picking Macintosh apples in the fall. She moved to Alberton in 2017, where today she co-owns Alberton Ministorage, LLC. When not working her day job, she prefers to spend her time outdoors fishing, rafting, hunting, motorcycling and foraging. With a BA in English and an MS in Business Management, Tina has served on numerous boards, commissions, and councils over the last 30 years. Tina is a writer and hopes to bring poetry to the orchard in the future. She also has grant writing skills that will help Brovold Orchard continue to succeed as a community orchard for generations to come.
Jason Summerfield, Director. Jason (Bob and Jeanne’s oldest son) grew up visiting and helping his grandparents at the orchard. He has a strong connection to the property and the history that it represents. He is the definition of “Jack of all Trades” and enjoys many of the challenges of implementing and maintaining the orchard infrastructure. Much of the time he is the silent labor that is working in the background keeping the property operational. Jason often reflects on how his grandparents and great grandparents would view his work, and he strives to make them proud while continuing their legacy.
Jeanne Summerfield, Director. Having grown up on the orchard property, Jeanne is our resident historian. Her stories about life in Alberton and the many characters who have come and gone over the years are captivating. She is also a plant lover who enjoys spending hours sequestered in the greenhouse or tending her outdoor flowerbeds. With a background in wedding planning, Jeanne is an immense help with preparing for and conducting community events in the orchard.
Jordan Summerfield, Director
Jessie Vaillancourt, Vice President. You may remember Jessie from Alberton Feed & Supply. She worked there helping with garden, lawn, pet, and overall farming/ranching solutions. Now she spends her time helping folks through massage. She has lived in the Alberton area for the last 20 years and loves to connect and bring community together, especially around local food and wellness. Being on the board provides her with opportunities to do just that.