The little village of Old Mission used to be a hopping place. At various times throughout history, the village was home to a variety of businesses, including a cider mill, apple evaporator, Pearl Hill’s Grocery Store, a cooper shop (which produced wooden casks, barrels, etc.), a shoe and boot shop, a steak house, Peter Dougherty’s house and mission church, and much more.
Today we’re focusing on the Old Mission Cider Mill and Apple Evaporator. We don’t have a ton of info about either of these establishments, so hopefully someone will be able to help us out.
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Here’s what we know (maybe):
The Old Mission Cider Mill was located on the corner of Mission Road and Swaney Road, directly north of where the Old Mission Congregational Church is now located. We think there’s still an old foundation in the woods there.
According to an old plat map owned by Jon Andrus, C. Reese owned the Cider Mill. The cooper shop was located directly opposite the Cider Mill, on the east side of Mission Road. According to the plat map, this was owned by George Lardie.
Old Mission village was also home to an “apple evaporator,” which we believe was located on what is now Traverse Street, directly north of the American Legion Hall and Post Office. The apple evaporator is not shown on the plat map, but my husband Tim believes there used to be a foundation there, as well.
What did they do at the apple evaporator? Based on the photos below, I’m guessing they peeled and prepped (and dehydrated?) the apples for the cider mill.
Below are some undated photos of women working at the apple evaporator. If you can supply any more info – including who the people are in any of these photos – tell us in the comments section at the bottom of this story or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll add it to the story.
Interested in learning more about the history of the Old Mission Peninsula? Join the OMP Historical Society! I’m a member and can confirm that it’s a lot of fun and their monthly programs are really educational. Learn more at their website and download the membership form here.