The cider mill was built by Frank Moes in 1916 and has remained in the family. We stopped pressing in 1996, and are again up and running and celebrated 100 years in 2016.
Frank Moes, born January 29, 1878 in Marysville, Ohio, and Rose Leiderbach born September 28, 1888 in Cleveland, Ohio, married June 5, 1910.
They were fruit growers on his father’s land and built the mill in 1916 to press grapes and apples from their farm and for neighbors. Three children, Nelson, Edna, and Julius (Mike), were all born in the farmhouse. Fall was a busy time with grape and apple picking, and sometimes the press operated nearly all night to get the work out.
“The road was nothing more than a wagon path from Vermilion south to Darrow Road. In the spring of the year, and through any wet season it became impassable. Automobiles were almost non-existent and wagon tracks would become almost a foot deep, hazardous even to a horse”… Nelson Moes
Nelson, (Frank and Rose’s first child, born December 28, 1911) started making cider when he was a boy. He stood on barrels to reach his father’s cider press. He married Alice Bartter from Cleveland, Ohio, (born July 9, 1915) on December 6, 1941, a day before the Pearl Harbor attack. After serving in the U.S. Army, Nelson, a National Tube/U.S. Steel millwright, continued the seasonal operation, adding a farm market stand, and together with Alice, and eventually their four children and nine grandchildren, ran a lively business. Many of the acres of vineyards and orchards had given way to developments in the neighborhood, but the press continued to produce hundreds of gallons of juice pretty steadily with apples and grapes purchased from local growers, as well as with a great deal of custom pressing for individuals and farmers bringing apples anywhere from one to hundreds of trees. Talk of new laws for cider makers was looming, and it seemed imminent cider would eventually require pasteurization. Our family agreed flavor and goodness would be lost, and with that and busy lives, the cider mill operation closed in 1996.
In the Fall of 2014, following upgrades and renovations, we have brought the press out of retirement for a new run. Jim Liljegren and Jean Moes Liljegren