City Quotient: Whatever Happened to Tuller's Fruit Farm?

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Whatever happened to the sawmill on Sawmill Road? More to the point: Whatever happened to the orchards on Sawmill Road?

Anyone older than about 45 will remember Tuller's Fruit Farm; it was the place to go in the fall for apple picking, cider pressing, hayrides and doughnuts. Sawmill Road once was a country road, and there really was a small sawmill at the corner of the toll road that became state Route 161. With no water power available, the saw likely was driven by a steam engine or a leather belt connected to a steam tractor. No sign of it remains today.

South on Sawmill was the Tuller family farm, run successively by three Charles Tullers. In 1956, the last, "Young Charles" or "Charlie," joined with Ledford Hamilton, a farmer working the Tuller property, to start an apple orchard. They tried to grow peaches and nectarines but found Ohio winters too harsh. They stuck with apples and built a stand many area people still recall. The farm appears to have lasted into the 1980s, finally succumbing to the march of development. Today the farmhouse site is under a big-box store, and the farmland, shorn of apple trees, is part of OSU's Don Scott Airport.

There are some heartfelt online reminiscences about the Tuller Fruit Farm. People recall apples, cider, pumpkins, hayrides, coffee and bonfires. But more than anything else, they remember the doughnuts. You could watch dough rings plop into hot oil, see doughnuts get slathered with icing, then eat them while they were still hot. You can't make up memories like this, so go find your own Tuller Fruit Farm and treasure it while you can.

Jeff Darbee is a preservationist, historian and author in Columbus. Send your questions to, and the answer might appear in a future column.