Revised cider making in sherborn


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Revised cider making in sherborn

  1. 1. Cider Making in Sherborn
  2. 2. Apples in Early Sherborn When the first English settlers came to Sherborn in 1652, they brought apple seeds with them. Thomas Holbrook, one of the first settlers, planted the first orchard in Sherborn. His farm was located where South Main Street crosses the Charles River. Since 1652, Sherborn has grown apples. In 1750, the Porter apple was actually developed here in Sherborn. It is a sweet, medium-size, yellow apple. Porter Apple
  3. 3. Apples in Early Sherborn Apple cider was a very popular drink. In the 1700s, every American drank an average of 1.14 barrels, or about 36 gallons, every year! Many of Sherborn’s apples were used to make cider. In 1798, there were 20 small mills in town.
  4. 4. Barrels to Gallons A barrel of apple cider equaled about 32 gallons. = =
  5. 5. Apples in Early Sherborn By 1860, there were only 7 cider mills around town, but more cider was produced by these mills than in earlier times. In the mid-19th century, when the train tracks were built through town, trains brought apples from outside of Sherborn to supply the mills, so even more cider could be made.
  6. 6. Dowse Orchards Dowse Orchards has grown and sold apples and cider in town since the American Revolution in the late 18th century. For more than 200 years, the Dowse family has farmed, grown apples, and made cider in Sherborn.
  7. 7. Making Cider Grinding the Apples The process for pressing cider was similar in many of the small mills in Sherborn. First horses were used to run the machinery that ground whole apples into a pasty mixture called pomace. Early grinding wheels were made of stone.
  8. 8. Making Cider Grinding the Apples Later, grinding wheels made of metal were used to grind the apples into pomace.
  9. 9. Making Cider Pressing In a large press, about 75 bushels of apples (pomace) were used in one pressing. It took about 48 hours to press the mixture down. The best quality came in the first light pressing, then the screws were turned to get out more liquid, and finally the pomace was taken out of the press, cut up, and replaced with new straw for a third pressing that yielded the poorest quality cider.
  10. 10. Making Cider Pomace After pressing, the pomace was used for livestock food.
  11. 11. Making Cider Refining After pressing, the cider was sometimes filtered to take out any impurities. The cider was now sort of like apple juice and could be drunk right away. (Today, apple juice is filtered much more, so it is clearer than cider.) If the cider was going to be fermented, which made it alcoholic, it was returned to large barrels with special spouts, called bungs, where the liquid could ferment. When cider was drunk out of the barrel, it was alcoholic and bubbly like beer. Because alcoholic cider lasted longer than fresh, it was this type that was usually drunk in colonial and 19th century Sherborn. To make champagne cider, which was alcoholic, almost clear, and very bubbly, the fermented liquid was specially filtered and bottled in corked champagne bottles. In these bottles, the liquid further fermented.
  12. 12. Holbrook Grist Mill and Cider Mill In the early 19th century, Jonathan Holbrook built a mill building and dam near Sewell Brook next to his Forest Street home. He used water power to run a saw mill and grist mill, which is a mill to grind grain. Then, in 1853, Holbrook began making cider in part of the building. Initially, Holbrook made 150 barrels of cider per season. (A barrel is about 32 gallons.) Later, he built larger buildings down the road. The old mill and dam were torn down in the 1890s. One of the grinding wheels from this mill is on display in front of Town Hall. Holbrook Mill, Forest Street Water Wheel Grinding Wheel of Stone
  13. 13. Holbrook Cider Mill (1853-1909) – Overview The Holbrook Cider Mill eventually became very large. By the end of the 19th century, the mill was said to be the largest refined cider mill in the world. By the 1890s the mill produced over 40,000 barrels, or 1.28 million gallons of cider per year. The Holbrooks made an alcoholic, champagne cider that was sold as far east as England and Sweden, and as far west as Nebraska and Texas. Apples from all over New England and New York state were needed to supply this huge mill . One of Several Holbrook Cider Mill Buildings
  14. 14. Transporting Apples and Cider For the first fifteen years of the Holbrook Cider Mill in South Sherborn, the nearest railroad was five miles away in Natick. All the cider made in the mill had to be transported by horsedrawn wagons over dirt roads to the depot in Natick, where it could be shipped out by train. Natick Center
  15. 15. 1860s Railroad Track Bringing the Railroad In the 1860s, it was proposed that a railroad be built from Framingham to Mansfield. The tracks would go through West Sherborn. Jonathan Holbrook paid for his own survey for a line of track that would pass much nearer the centers of Framingham and Sherborn. This route would also go within a few feet of his mill in South Sherborn. Holbrook’s route was shorter – it saved the railroad company about ½ mile of track and about $50,000. Holbrook Cider Mill Early Buildings on Sewell Brook Holbrook Cider Mill Later Buildings on Railroad Tracks
  16. 16. The Railroad In the late 1860s, the railroad was built along a line right by the Holbrook Cider Mill. The first freight train coming into town was loaded with apples for the Holbrook’s mill. New Cider Mill Building on Railroad Track, 1870s The large mill pond is where the Sewell Brook was formed by the dam at the older mill building.
  17. 17. The Railroad The railroad made it easier to expand the Holbrook Cider Mill. Using the new railroad, Holbrook could ship cider directly to New York. Also, apples could be shipped in from greater distances. Local farmers still drove wagon loads of apples to the mill, also.
  18. 18. The Mill Grows By 1868 the mill produced 6,000 barrels every cider season. The level of activity at the Holbrook Mill was so great that Forest Street was the first street that Sherborn voted to widen "to take care of the exceeding amount of traffic at the mill." These two color photos show the only mill building that remains today. It is on the western side of the tracks. The black and white photo was taken in the 1870s of a mill building that stood on the eastern side of the tracks. Also on this side were huge storage buildings and large production buildings.
  19. 19. Invention of the Steam-Powered Cider Press One of the innovations, or new methods, that the Holbrook Mill brought to cider making was to use a steam-powered cider press that they invented and patented in 1871. This picture shows the cider presses in operation. In the background is the conveyor belt that brought apples to the mill from the railroad siding. The pomace was found to be an excellent cattle food, and so the Holbrooks sold and shipped it to farmers all over New England.
  20. 20. Refining the Cider One of the new buildings added in the 1860s contained huge vats filled with fine sand through which the cider was filtered to remove impurities. Some of this sand came from the gravel pit across the railroad tracks from the mill. This is where Cider Hill Lane is now located. Cider Hill Sand and Gravel Pit Holbrook Cider Mill Refining Room Holbrook Cider Mill
  21. 21. Weighing and Storing the Apples Another new building built near the railroad tracks contained storage rooms in the basement and grinding rooms above. Near the tracks were huge scales for weighing the apples that came in the train cars. Train car loads of apples were run onto scales to be weighed. Then, the apples were shoveled out of the train cars by hand or by steam shovel into the basement of the building. The car was weighed again and moved forward to make room for the next car. Next, the apples were moved to the grinding rooms above the storage rooms at the rate of 1,200 bushels in 40 minutes! (A bushel is a basket holding the dry equivalent of 8 gallons.) Bushels of Apples
  22. 22. Largest Employer in Sherborn The mill employed the largest workforce in town. During the off-season, only four or five employees were needed to tend the cider and fill orders for cider. But, during the cidermaking season the mill employed about 50 people, mostly men, who worked in 10 hour shifts, six days a week. The mill was operated 24 hours a day during cider season.
  23. 23. “Holbrook and Sons” Prospers This was a family business. Jonathan Holbrook had three sons who were all active in the mill: Charles, John, and Eben. The prosperity of their family business allowed Jonathan and two of his sons two build well-crafted Victorian-style homes. Jonathan built a large, four-story home at 11 Maple Street in about 1880, but it was torn down in 1940. Only the granite steps remain today. Jonathan lived in this house with his daughter, Georgiana. He loved to dance, so the fourth floor of his home was a ballroom! Cider Mill Founder Jonathan Holbrook
  24. 24. “Holbrook and Sons” Prospers Charles built his home at 137 South Main Street in about 1870. John built his home at 44 North Main St. in the 1880s.
  25. 25. “Holbrook and Sons” Prospers Eben stayed in the old (1690s) family house at 69 Forest Street. This picture was taken in the 1870s. Eben is standing on the frozen mill pond with his daughter, Ella. Their dog plays near Ella’s feet. Part of the enormous barn was used for storing cider barrels, which can be seen in front of it.
  26. 26. Holbrook Cider Mill Buildings In 1886, a huge, new storehouse was built. It measured 365 feet by 65 feet. It was just one of several buildings that made up the mill complex near the railroad tracks. The picture on the left shows the only remaining mill building as it appears today. The two photos on the right show part of the foundations that remain of one of the old buildings.
  27. 27. European Sales In the 1880s, the mill produced over 30,000 barrels of cider a year. Sales offices were opened in Europe. About 1/3 of the cider was sold in Great Britain as “Holbrook's Champagne Cyder,” or champagne-style cider and “prime cyder on draught,” which is the beerstyle cider. An English advertisement is shown at right. About 1/3 of the cider was sold in Great Britain. More than 1/3 of the cider was sold in Sweden, Denmark, and Belgium.
  28. 28. United States Sales About 1/3 of the cider was sold all over the eastern United States and as far west as Nebraska and as far south as Texas. Holbrook Mill, South Sherborn, MA
  29. 29. “The Word’s Largest Cider Mill” In the 1890s, the mill's capacity reached over 40,000 barrels a year. The Holbrook Cider Mill was advertised as “The World's Largest Cider Mill.” This illustration appeared in advertisements in Great Britain. From about 1890 to 1909, the Mill continued to produce cider on this grand scale.