History

The Kimlin Cider Mill is located on the east side of Cedar Avenue in the Town of Poughkeepsie, situated on approximately two acres of land. An old mid-19th century barn forms the core the Kimlin Cider Mill. The mill was part of a larger agricultural property owned and operated by the Kimlin family since the early 1850s when the Kimlin family first came to this country from Ireland, though now its initial function and historical associations are unclear.

During the period of 1925-1935, Ralph R. Kimlin began the work of expanding the old barn into what he intended to be a cider mill as well as a public attraction. Mr. Kimlin’s work on the barn greatly altered the original form and composition of the building, which he intended to make into, among other things, a museum filled with old farm tools and other curiosities.

For most of the 20th century the Cider Mill served as a producer and retail outlet for apple cider. Its popularity with local residents, particularly the area’s school children and students from nearly Vassar College, prompted Ralph R. Kimlin to embellish the exterior of the building and to create indoor spaces for the enchantment of his customers.

The property surrounding the Mill soon became a park and even a golf course. Mr. Kimlin also raised a sizable flock of sheep in the pasture behind the Mill with the hopes of preserving the traditional farm life that once an integral part of life in the area, but which was already beginning to disappear at the time.

In 1990, the Kimlin Cider Mill closed.  The property was purchased by a developer whose plan was demolish the Mill in favor of redevelopment.

The Cider Mill Friends of Open Space & Historic Preservation, Inc. began as a citizens’ group in May 2000 and in January 2001 became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Cider Mill Friends pursued the purchase of the Kimlin Cider Mill for seven years. On February 20, 2008, the Cider Mill Friends became the official owners of the Mill and surrounding 1.8 acres of meadowland with the assistance of a bridge loan from the Preservation League of New York State, a matching grant from New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, private lenders, and donors.  Cider Mill Friends is now working to stabilize and restore the Cider Mill and property.  More historic photos can be viewed here.