Loganberry picking in vineyard of L.H. Roberts, Salem, Oregon. WHC Collections 2011.006.0485. This photo had to have been taken sometime after 1917 as it features a WWI era labor program called “U.S. Boys Working Reserve.”

Although its impact was short-lived, the loganberry was possibly the most important berry crop in the Willamette Valley from 1910-25. Its history dates back to 1880, when Judge John H. Logan of Santa Cruz, California, developed a cross between the Antwerp red raspberry and the wild blackberry. The product of the cross was a red, tart berry.

The new variety was not as well-received by the public as fresh berries because of their strong acidic taste, and did not travel well because of their softness. They were excellent when used in pies though and, once cans were developed that did not react to their acidity, they became more marketable.

The Salem Fruit Union was instrumental in developing and introducing loganberry products and, in 1914, 2,500 gallons of juice were pressed, processed, and put up in 5-gallon containers. An announcement from San Francisco on July 27, 1915, stated that the Oregon commissioners to the Panama-Pacific exposition were preparing to celebrate “Loganberry Day” at the fair.

Loju Advertisement

Loju Advertisement that appeared in the St. Louis Dispatch Newspaper 9 Sept 1917

It credited William J. Bryan, former Oregon Secretary of State, with influencing the popularity of loganberry juice by his preference for it over wine. The Salem Brewery Association was reorganized in 1915 as Northwest Fruit Products Company and began marketing LOJU that year. By the end of the year, it was being distributed to California and the Southwest. The company was dissolved in October, 1920.

Once a system for drying had been perfected, the berries were also dehydrated. Jams and jellies also became very popular once an enameled can was developed, and canned loganberries could be readily obtained. As the demand increased for the loganberries, more fields were planted; however, when inflation and excessively high sugar prices pushed up the price of the berries, customers rebelled.

By the late 1920s, the ups and downs of the economy caused many farmers to plant their fields with other crops and, in the late 1930s, the domestic loganberry market was further reduced due to the introduction of boysenberries. The loganberry is now used primarily for preserves, wine, and commercial pies.

Researched and written by Joan Marie “Toni” Meyering for the Salem Online History Project

“Loganberry Juice Better than Grape Juice According to Wm. J. Bryan”, Daily Capital Journal, July 17, 1915.

Lucas, William. Canning in the Valley: Canneries of the Salem District. 1998.

Learn More:

Article: The Rise and Fall of Salem’s Loganberry Industry (2019)

Object: Phez Advertisement