Richard Wachsmith, his father, and his brother arrived in the Yakima Valley in 1904. He purchased 30 acres at Parker Heights, Washington, in 1907, invested in 15 more acres several years later in the Fruitvale District near the City of Yakima, and in 1918 added another 10 acres at Parker Heights.

In 1914, he also acquired 40 acres of mature fruit trees on River Road in Yakima from a St. Louis, Missouri, investment company. These Midwestern investors had acquired and developed the land in the early 1900s in the hope of a good return. However, in both 1913 and 1914, Yakima River floods damaged the property and, in 1914, even washed away the warehouse. They were only too happy to sell to Wachsmith.

New brand

Wachsmith’s orchards prospered and grew throughout the next decades under, first, the management of Richard and his wife Livia, and then under his sons Richard and John Wachsmith. The company’s first box label was Tell, a brand acquired along with the land in the buy-out of the St. Louis investors in 1914. By the late 1920s, Richard and Livia decided they wanted a new brand that was to be called Repeater. Livia took pictures of her two sons, Richard and John, dressed in suits and standing in front of empty wooden apple boxes. Richard would be used on the apple label and John on the pear label.

Times three

These pictures were sent to Schmidt Lithographic Company, where the company artist was instructed to design labels with both boys in overalls and the boxes filled with fruit. Each label featured the boy and fruit box repeated three times—hence, the name Repeater.

While this design was being perfected, Schmidt Lithographic notified the Wachsmiths that Mida’s Trademark and Patent Bureau had reported that another company had already registered the name Repeater but that the name Repetition was available.

Schmidt and Wachsmith agreed that the Repetition brand would be every bit as good as the Repeater brand, and in October 1929, Repetition was officially registered to Wachsmith. The original design was used unaltered until 1947, when the 40-pound weight designation was changed to One Volume Bushel.

The Wachsmith orchards remained in business until the mid-1970s when U.S. Highway 12 was built through the center of the main orchards and the brothers Richard and John, sons of the founder, retired.