Farmers & Threshermens Jubilee Steam Powered Cider Mill at New Centerville, Pennsylvania


| May/June 1999



Cider mill

The Farmers' and Threshermen's Jubilee steam powered cider mill was built in 1901 by Thomas-Albright Company of Goshen, Indiana. Mr. John Engleheart from Fratztown, Maryland, purchased this mill new in 1901. The mill was in operation for two years at that site. Then he sold the mill to John Fresh and John Kahl and the mill was moved to Flatwoods, Maryland. John Fresh became sole owner, and he sold the mill to Frederich Richter about 1925. The mill operated at this site till 1970 when Frederich Richter's son, Walter F. W. Richter, could no longer operate the mill because of health reasons. The New Centerville and Rural Volunteer Fire Company purchased the cider mill from Walter F. W. Richter in 1979.

The mill was moved in 1979 to the Jubilee Grounds, New Centerville, Pennsylvania. The cider mill building was built in that summer and the mill was in operation for the 1980 Farmers' and Threshermen's Jubilee Show.

A 12 HP Farquhar steam engine built in York, Pennsylvania, operates the 40-ton press which presses cider out of the apples. A Peerless 12 HP steam engine, built in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, in about the 1890s, operates the grinder. The apple conveyor takes the apples up to the apple grinder. They set the knives in the grinder, using a dime for the fine cut, and a nickel for the coarse cut. The Jubilee uses a dime for the fine cut and all apples are washed before grinding.

You can see this cider mill in action every year at the Jubilee Show and get some fresh apple cider.

The apple was introduced to America by early settlers, who brought apple seeds with them. Records of the Massachusetts Bay Company indicate that apples were grown in New England as early as 1630. Seeds were carried westward by missionaries, traders, and Indians. One man alone, John Chapman, was responsible for extensive plantings through Ohio and Indiana.

Information for this article came from The Encyclopedia of American Steam Traction Engines and Clark Brocht. Photo by Jack C. Norbeck.