About Us

West View Pawpaw Farm is a small, 30-acre farm in Wayne County, Ohio, located on state route 3 just south of Wooster. Currently owned and operated by Loren and Mabel Kirchner, the farm was purchased by Mabel’s grandparents, George and Fern Stair in the early 1900’s. Mabel’s parents, Zoid and June Stair continued farming and had a small dairy herd, back in the days of hand milking. After Zoid and June stopped farming in 1961, the farm was leased for crops.

Loren and Mabel purchased West View Farm in 2006 and began restoring the barn and making improvements on the property. The bank barn located on the property was moved by horse and wagon to the farm by George and Fern around 1924 from its original site near the Gerstenslager/ArtiFlex company on Bowman Street in Wooster. Lack of use in later years saw the barn fall into disrepair and it was near collapse when the Kirchners made the decision to restore it. The original American chestnut beam structure was fully retained while the foundation, siding and roof were replaced. The renovation took several years and was completed by “Barn Again” barn restoration owned by retired dairy farmer Fred Cannon. Inscriptions in the barn date it to 1881.

Loren, who grew up in Wheeling, WV and southeastern Ohio, and was accustomed to spending lots of time in the woods as a youngster, regularly enjoyed pawpaw in the fall of the year. Pawpaw is native to much of the eastern United States and is commonly found in the woods of southeastern Ohio. After moving to Wooster in 1979, he quickly forgot all about the fruit, until about 20 years later when a friend brought a bag of fruit to work, wondering if Loren had ever had a “pawpaw.” This, of course, kindled fond childhood memories and the many ‘falls’ spent in the woods hiking, squirrel hunting, and pickin’ up pawpaw’s.

Shortly afterwards, Loren planted a few pawpaw trees in the orchard, with the intention of having at least a few fruit to eat fresh or pass out to friends and family. Oh, how ideas change! Within a couple of years, Loren proposed starting a small orchard of pawpaw that might provide enough fruit to sell and allow others to enjoy this native treasure. Gradually, by learning from other pawpaw growers, who are a rare group themselves, attending pawpaw meetings, reading as much as possible about pawpaw’s, including the few historical short books about pawpaw growing available, and of course a lot of trial and error, Loren and Mabel established a pawpaw orchard, now known as West View Pawpaw Farm.

Blessings, Loren and Mabel Kirchner