Fifteen years ago on February 20, 2008, the group Cider Mill Friends of Open Space & Historic Preservation, Inc. became owners of the historic Kimlin Cider Mill in Poughkeepsie, NY. You are invited to celebrate this milestone at the cider mill (140 Cedar Avenue) on Monday, February 20 from 12-2pm. There will be hot chocolate, snacks, and a warm fire in the large stone fireplace.
The group formed in 2000 when developers purchased 18 acres of farmland owned by the Kimlin family, including the land on which the Kimlin Cider Mill sat, and proposed to develop a residential subdivision, including the demolition of the cider mill local landmark. Seeing the importance of the cider mill in the history and future of the town, local residents joined together as the Cider Mill Friends (CMF). As part of their efforts, the circa 1880 Kimlin Cider Mill was listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places and also as a Town of Poughkeepsie Historic Landmark. In 2001, CMF and Cider Mill Development LLC signed a letter agreement that stated CMF would have the opportunity to purchase the cider mill and surrounding land. CMF assembled funds from local donors for the down payment, but when they moved to purchase the cider mill, the developers reneged. CMF battled in the courtroom until finally winning the case and purchasing the cider mill seven years later in 2008.
One of the first things CMF did was to have an Existing Conditions Report prepared to identify tasks to preserve the structure from deteriorating. The building had been vacant since 1990 and was in poor shape. An immediate task was to brace the extant cider press machinery that encompasses the entire press room and partially hangs from the ceiling. Over the years, CMF has engaged with many volunteers to work on other projects to preserve and restore the structure and therefore preserve and share the history that it represents. They have also purchased additional acreage around the cider mill structure to preserve further open space.
CMF is a non-profit organization entirely run by volunteers, supported by community donations and the efforts of their volunteers to secure grants. Their major fundraising event is the annual “old fashioned cider tasting” in early October that showcases various Hudson Valley sweet and hard ciders, live music, tours, and much more. The event this year is October 14. You can learn more about CMF and the Kimlin Cider Mill by going to cidermillfriends.org or following them on Facebook (facebook.com/kimlincidermillfriends) or Instagram (@cidermillfriends).
2008 photo – Before
Photo by Neil Larson
Photo by Stephanie LaRose Lewison