After about three years of construction, the Mill was completed in 1837, the same year in which Michigan gained its statehood. The building development was started by a man from New York named Ed W. Matthews. Matthews purchased a large tract of land near the Mill’s current location. Unfortunately however, financial difficulties made it impossible for him to finish his project.

It was then purchased by Peter VanEvery who completed the building and opened it as a gristmill. He became the miller for an area of many miles in all directions. VanEvery also had many other enterprises in the Stoughton and Bullock Settlement, which is now Franklin.

Ownership of the Mill changed hands many times during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Around the turn of the century, the Mill was flooded and shut down until it was purchased in 1918 by Robert McKee. McKee stipulated that the cider season would run from August 15th until January 1st.

The Mill changed hands one more time in 1966. Jack Peltz purchased the Mill and just two years later another flood left the Mill in a jam. The flood washed away a 30-foot section of the road that the Mill stands on. The road was fixed but the power that was provided by the water wheel was lost. Regular electricity was installed in the Mill that year, 1968. Possession of the Mill has remained in the Peltz family and is now owned by Barry Peltz.

For hundreds of years apples have been a delicious and nutritious fruit enjoyed all over the world.

Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman brought, from Europe, a small variety of apples. He spent his life planting apple trees across America, some of which still bear fruit to this day. Johnny’s dream was for apples to fill bellies of all of the hungry people. He was as sweet as a honey crisp! Farmers all over the United States took these varieties and combined them to create new apples just like the honey crisp.

At one point Europe had only 350 different kinds of apples. Today, there are approximately 7,000 different varieties throughout the U.S. Roughly 20 types of apples are used for marketing purposes.

The most beautiful apples are grown in the state of Washington, while the most flavorful apples are grown in the eastern states. Due to an abundance of lava rock, the soil in the western states lack the richness that it needs to produce the tastiest apples.

The state of Washington is #1 in producing apples. They produce about four times more apples than any other state. New York and Michigan are the #2 and #3 producers, respectively. We, at the Franklin Cider Mill, are proud of the apples grown in the Mitten and only use Michigan apples. Apple trees are not producing as plentiful a crop as years before, causing the cost of apples and apple products to increase.

Franklin Cider Mill, like other cider mills and orchards, has a reputation of having a lot of bees buzzing around (especially when families are trying to have a nice, relaxing picnic!). The bees are important to the production of all fruits and vegetables. In the spring these busy bees pollinate the blossoms that turn into nutritious and delicious fruit. The more blossoms, the more fruit.

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