Shirley Butler Has Died at 91, Leaving a Legacy at Butler’s Orchard
Shirley Brown Butler, whose family invited visitors to “pick their own” produce at Butler’s Orchard, has died at 91 years old. She was lovingly known as “Mrs. B” on the farm. She could be found driving around Butler’s Orchard in her golf cart, followed by her dog Dakota.
Shirley Butler grew up in Silver Spring, Md and attended Blair High School. She worked at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, while her husband George H. Butler studied pre-med. Then in 1950, the Butlers bought a 37 acre plot with a two-room log house from the 1850s in Germantown, Md. The farm started out with 17 acres of peach trees. Butler’s Orchard now has over 25 varieties of fruits and vegetables.
Wade Butler, one of four children of the Butlers, described Butler’s Orchard’s business model to WTOP. “People wanted to come out, enjoy the fresh air, pick fresh crops, pay them for the crops they were picking — which was kind of a novel idea — and then go home happy.”
Butler’s Orchard has now expanded to over 300 acres and is reaching its 70th year anniversary. Families around Montgomery County will continue to spend time together at Butler’s Orchard for years to come as the 4th generation of the Butler family continues to work on farm.
By Amy Lusignan