Honoring the past in support of the future
Fly Creek Cider Mill Celebrates 150th Anniversary
FLY CREEK, NY – The Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard will celebrate its 150th anniversary with a special evening of celebration to benefit Friends of Bassett’s funding of a new Mobile Cancer Screening Coach. The evening program, sponsored by Maines Foodservice, Bug Country Radio, Kurt Pelton Design and the Cooperstown Beverage Trail Association, will feature a Mill rededication, a dessert and fudge fondue buffet and a performance of country music by the Knight Ryders ending in a grand fireworks finale. Admission is ten dollars per person (children 12 and under free,) all of which will be donated to the Friends of Bassett.
“We are grateful to the community for their continued support of our farm and business. This celebration is our way of saying ‘thank you’ while supporting a great cause,” says Bill Michaels, co-owner of the Mill.
The Mill, built in 1856 by entrepreneur Hosea Williams, uses a turbine water wheel to power its press. The Mill’s success crested at the turn of the 19th century under its second owner Linn Kane, who expanded the milling activities to grain, corn and woodworking
In 1962 Charlie and Barbara Michaels purchased the Mill property to transform the miller’s residence into a modern home. While watching the renovation, Kane regaled Charlie with stories of the golden years when wagons lined the street to the corner. The stories took root and the Michaels envisioned a family business right in their own backyard. Charlie planted the Mill’s first orchard and the Mill was again in production. Barbara started retail sales with her art ware and baked goods. Retail space was added, the product mix was broadened, and Barbara’s creative spirit was set free marketing the Mill as a fall family attraction where “traditions are kept alive.” The Mill became just what they aimed for: a fall family destination complete with entertainments, foodservice and cider produced on site. With a successful fall operation in place, the Michaels were ready for the next generation to carry on. Their son Bill and wife Brenda purchased the Mill in 1999.
Eager young innovators in their own right, Brenda and Bill expanded the fall season into the summer tourist months and added hard-to-find specialty foods. Programming has been strengthened with special events and exhibits. Their promotion and marketing have increased traffic, making the Mill a strong component of Otsego County’s tourism mix, all of which l will be celebrated during the event.
The beneficiary of the evening will be The Bassett Coach Project, which will bring a full range of cancer screening services, including digital mammography, to underserved residents of central New York. Replacing the aging mobile mammography van, the new coach will be equipped with high-tech diagnostic equipment.
“Many cancer deaths are preventable,” said Dr. Maureen Killackey, program director. “To benefit the residents throughout our area, the coach will extend the preventative education and early detection services of our Regional Cancer Program. With its greater range and self contained technology, the coach will allow us to bring pelvic exams and Pap smears for women, prostate screening and tests for men, and colorectal cancer and skin cancer screenings to the places where people live and work.”
“Our family and Mill Team have been affected by cancer and it is our goal to work with the Friends to help achieve their $1,500,000 fund-raising initiative,” said Brenda Michaels, co-owner of the Mill. “This event is in addition to our annual Big Squeeze Weekend in October that is dedicated specifically to Breast Cancer Awareness.”
The celebration will be held rain or shine on the Mill property, located just three miles from Cooperstown. Parking is free and general admission will be paid at the gate starting at 6:30 PM on August 16th with the program kicking off at 7:00 PM.
For more information on the Mill’s great history and to schedule an interview to further cover this exciting event, please contact Bill Michaels at 607-547-9692 ext.111.
To volunteer at this fun event, call Brenda Michaels at 607-547-9692 ext. 112.