In addition to the Kimlin Cider Mill on Cedar Avenue, Ralph Kimlin also opened and operated a Kimlin Cider Mill for a short – but busy – while at “Manchester”, a hamlet at the border of Poughkeepsie and LaGrange by the Wappingers Creek. Cider Mill Friends is still researching this Kimlin Cider Mill, but below summarizes what we currently know about its history. If you have any information/photos/maps of this mill, please contact us!
The original railroad line through Manchester was built in 1891 and opened for traffic in 1892. It was a single track line with a number of sharp curves. The Central New England Railway upgraded the line about 1910/1911 when they double tracked the line and straightened the curves. In the Manchester area, the straightening moved the line slightly to the west, which opened up the old right-of-way to be sold and redeveloped.
Ralph Kimlin purchased the right-of-way east of the Wappingers Creek in 1920. The earliest (found so far) advertisement in the Poughkeepsie Eagle-News, dated October 9, 1920 (below), shows the Manchester cider mill began operating in the same year.
A 1927 Vassar Miscellany newspaper article about the Kimlin Cider Mill states “The business grew until another mill was started at Manchester, near Poughkeepsie. The Mill at Manchester is now the main one, several hundred thousand gallons of cider being made their annually.”
A 1939 project plan from NYSDOT clearly shows the Kimlin property along the former right-of-way. It also shows that the new Route 55 would cut through the property and remove some of the buildings, but not the cider mill building.
At this point in our research it is unclear when the Manchester mill stopped operating and when the building was demolished. Historic aerial photographs show the mill building and the property boundary until at least 1955; by 1970, the mill building is gone and the property appears to be merged with what is now the Page Hardware property. Deeds show that the property was sold to the Pages in 1969.
No local oral histories have indicated any memory of this Kimlin Cider Mill. It may have been a more commercially-oriented business than the retail business operating on Cedar Avenue. Letters from 1919 show that the Kimlins sold cider, apple juice, and vinegar to Duffy-Mott Company, Inc. (now known simply as Mott’s), and that deal may have been the impetus for starting the second mill.
If you have any information/photos/maps/etc. of this mill, please contact us!