"Forever Friends"

About this project:

Leaving a Legacy

The Curran Apple Orchard is a beloved park in University Place attracting thousands of residents and visitors each year.  The orchard began in the early 1950s when Charles and Mary Curran purchased the property to build a home for their growing family. Mr. Curran also planted apple trees after admiring an orchard in Eastern Washington.        

Prior to cityhood in 1995, University Place was a rural area filled with orchards, horses grazing in fields and only a few hundred residents.      

The Curran Orchard soon became a popular community gathering spot.  People would stop by and purchase apples while children walking home from school enjoyed visiting the horses and feeding them apples.  

Although the Currans loved all their animals, there was one special horse. Charles received a gift mare called “Back Interest” from his friend, Frank Brewster, who was Vice President of the Western States Teamsters Union.

Since “Back Interest” was the granddaughter of Man o’ War (arguably the greatest race horse ever), Mr. Curran decided to breed her with the 

hopes of obtaining a race horse of his own.  

The Currans bred her to a $400,000 Irish Import resulting in a horse called “Brewster” named after Frank.  Two years later, Brewster had a brother called “Christopher” after Mr. Curran’s son.

Mr. Curran decided to race Brewster at the Yakima Race Track.  Right before his first race, Brewster developed a virus and was sent to the WSU Veterinary School.  He barely ate and was sent home not expecting to live but Mr. Curran loved him and fed him oats by hand…and he recovered!  Although the racing plans were dropped, the Currans continued to love their horses, who lived until the ripe old ages of 34 and 32.

Photo by James Truitt


Forever Friends


    Our selected artist for this piece is John Jewell. He is a retired educator and accomplished artist and sculptor. 

    His works include:

    •    “Sharing” - Cirque Park
    •    “Fireman” - West Pierce Fire and Rescue Headquarters in UP
    •    “Chloe Clark” – Dupont
    •    “Meriwether Lewis and Seaman” – JBLM
    •    “Balancing the Books” - Pierce County Library Key Center branch.
    We are delighted and proud to work with him again.


    Horse Tales

    Do you have a story to share? Check out our blog for stories relating to the Currans, the horses and the Apple Orchard Park. To submit your own story please email upforarts@gmail.com.




    All Contributions great and small are greatly appreciated!

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