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Franklin Cider Mill facts for kids

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After three years of construction, the Franklin Grist Mill was completed in 1837. This was the same year that Michigan gained its statehood. The construction was started by W. Matthews. Matthews purchased the large tract of land near the Mill’s current location and began the mill in 1832. Unfortunately, due to financial difficulties, Matthews could not finish his project.

The property was purchased by Peter VanEvery who completed the building and opened it as a gristmill on the banks of the Franklin River. He became the miller for an area that included many miles for grain farmers in all directions. VanEvery also had many other enterprises in the Stoughton and Bullock Settlement, which is now Franklin.

Ownership of the Mill changed hands several times during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1914, the mill was sold to James T. Flynn, who installed the first water-powered apple press. Around the turn of the century, the Franklin Grist Mill was flooded and shut down until the property was purchased in 1918 by Robert McKee. McKee stipulated that the cider season would run from August 15th until January 1st. (Cannon, Bettie Waddell. All About Franklin: from Pioneers to Preservation. The Franklin Historical Society, Franklin Michigan. (1979).

In the 1960s the mill was again sold to Jacob Peltz who operated the mill for almost 35 years until his death on July 25, 2004. (

Today, the Franklin Cider Mill retains its immense popularity with locals and out-of-towners alike. The infamous waterwheel is a large consumer attraction. As a family tradition, the Peltz family continues to operate the mill. The mill offers fresh apple cider, warm spice donuts, caramel apples, and apple pies along with an array of Michigan-made products. Franklin Cider Mill has traditionally opened the Saturday before Labor Day and continues through the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

  • Cannon, Bettie Waddell. All About Franklin: from Pioneers to Preservation.The Franklin Historical Society, Franklin Michigan. (1979).
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