the making of modern michigan

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Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 92-93
Smith, Kay, 1925-

Bloomfield Township Public Library

Bloomfield Township (Mich.) -- History

Frankin Cider Mill (Bloomfield Township, Mich.) -- History

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part of 'Bloomfield Blossoms' by Kay Smith

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THE VAN EVERY GRISTMILL, ALIAS THE CIDER MILL In the fall of each year, thousands of people jam into the intersection of 14 Mile and Franklin Roads to buy cider and eat hot doughnuts at the Franklin Cider Mill. If you asked them where the cider mill was located, they'd be sure to say "Why in the village of Franklin, of course!" but actually, the Cider Mill is just across the line in Bloomfield Township. It was in 1832 that Edward Matthews, son of an Irish refugee, making plans to invest his capital in lots and enterprises, as the jargon of the day went, bought land from Scriba Blakeslee and Edward Ellerby and started building a flouring mill on the stream the land boasted. He employed Joseph Gilbert, of Gilbert Lake fame, to get out the timber for him, and Gilbert apparantly got out the finest timber possible for the mill. Matthews ran out of steam, out of funds, and out of Bloomfield, and in 1837 Colonel Peter Van Every, of Detroit, exhanged his holdings of land in the city for the Matthews property and the plans for the mill. Within a year, with the help of a millwright named William A. Pratt, the mill was operable. In the late 1830's it was the only mill operating in its vicinity and it was quite profitable. Also profitable, ah yes! was the distillery built on the east side of the road, still in the Township. This place of business sold a gallon of good whiskey for 25 cents, and this history wouldn't dream of relating stories of how patrons of the distillery who had imbibed a bit much on the premises, were unceremoniously rolled out of the window and into the Franklin stream to regain a cool head. Homer Case tells another story about the Van Every mill and the day "Dude" Van Every saw a young lad in the mill pond going down for the third time. A strong, powerful man, Dude reached in and pulled out the boy. Homer had been warned countless times not to play near the mill pond, but he didn't learn his lesson until the day Dude saved his life. He never played there again.

Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 92-93 part 1 Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 92-93 part 2

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