RICHARD HOLTZMANN SR.
FEATURED TRADITION BEARER
Image courtesy of the Rideway Historical Society.
The small farming community of Ridgeway has for more than a century had a wide reputation for the excellence of one of its crops, the Ridgeway cantaloupe. In recent years, true Ridgeway cantaloupes have become increasingly rare. Of the farmers who have brought the crop into the twenty-first century, among the very last are Richard Holtzmann of Ridgeway and his son, Richard Holtzmann, Jr.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, German immigrants came to Warren County and settled in the Ridgeway-Drewry section. One of them was Diebold Holtzmann, ancestor of what would become the largest of Ridgeway’s German families. Historian Barbara Sinn Bumbalough writes that all 264 acres of Diebold Holtzmann’s land holdings are still owned by his descendants. The Richard Holtzmann family traces its roots back to Diebold, and they still farm family land.
Read more about the Holtzmanns here, and check out the Ridgeway Cantaloupe Festival.