(June 27, 1:05 p.m.) FORT VALLEY, Ga. — A century of peach packing has brought many changes to Lane Packing LLC, which now does business as Lane Southern Orchards.
John David Duke, the great-grandfather of Duke Lane, Jr., Bobby Lane and daughter Anne Lane-Tribble, who now run Lane Southern Orchards, in 1908 founded Diamond Fruit Farm. John David Duke owned a basket liner manufacturing operation and, in 1942, built a packinghouse. In 1950, he changed the basket operation’s name to Southern Orchard Supply Co. and gave the business to his son-in-law, David O. Lane.
When David O. Lane retired, his son, Duke Lane Sr., became sole owner. Duke Lane Sr. in 1976 formed a partnership with the Russell Pearson family and constructed a packinghouse. After the partnership ended in 1989, Duke Lane Sr. started building a modern packinghouse that opened in 1990, the year Duke Lane Sr., 80, retired.
- 1908- John David Duke starts Diamond Fruit Farm growing operation.
- 1942- Duke builds J.D. Duke packinghouse.
- 1950- David O. Lane renames packing operation Lane Packing Co.
- 1975- Begins growing pecans.
- 1976- Duke Lane Sr. partners with Russell Pearson family; packinghouse called Pearson & Lane built.
- 1990- Pearson deal ends. Lanes build modern packing operation and opens Lane Packing Co.
- 1991- Adds roadside market.
- 2000- Expands roadside market by adding gift shop, cafe and began U-pick strawberry growing.
- 2002- Installed new packing line that includes optical sizing.
- 2004- Added roll board packaging line for hand packing peaches in individual containers.
- 2006- Partners with citrus growers B&H Georgia Orchard LLC, Vero Beach, Fla., for consumer citrus sales.
- 2008- Begins doing business as Lane Southern Orchards.