The Sun, the Moon… the Stars?
Rumor has it there is also a Stars label although no one remembers seeing one.
Lloyd Garretson was one of the founding partners of the Yakima, Washington-based Pacific Fruit and Produce Company, but he resigned in 1918 to plant his own orchards on Naches Heights. Located just west of the City of Yakima, the Heights are accessed by a steep road that quickly became known as Garretson Grade and just as quickly became a favorite place to ski in the winter—even if it required having a car available to return to the top.
In the 1920s, Garretson patented the Moon and Sun labels. The Moon label was originally blue and used for the Extra Fancy grade; the Sun was red and yellow and used for the Fancy grade. However, soon after the Sun label appeared on the wholesale markets, the California-based Sunkist Company contacted Garretson, claiming that the Sun label was too similar to the Sunkist labels, and threatened legal action. Garretson responded by then using just the Moon label for all three grades. The overall dark blue background was given a lighter blue border for Extra Fancy, a red border for Fancy, and a white border for the C grade.
Nevertheless, the rumor persists to the present day that Garretson created a third label called Stars for all his C grade apples. This would have meant that Garretson fruit was marketed under the brand names of the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars. No one has ever seen or remembers seeing a Stars label, but on several occasions when Delmar Bice, the Yakima Valley Museum’s fruit label expert, was speaking with John Garretson, Lloyd’s son, John would ask, “Del, have you found a Stars label yet?” Then John would smile, and Del would reply that he was not sure there ever had been a Stars label and would John show him one. John would smile again and say he was sure it was out there somewhere. Del and many other fruit label collectors still hope to find the Stars!