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Yates Cider Mill - Main Page & History
Rochester Hills Michigan

Historically, the Clinton-Kalamazoo Canal anticipated water to power many grist mills in the area.  Unfortunately, due to financial and labor problems only a dozen or so miles of the anticipated 216-mile canal were ever completed.  About four miles of the Canal have been restored and can be seen along the Yates Trail and the attached Clinton-Kalamazoo Canal Trail south-southeast of the Mill.  Another mile of the Canal can be found along Bloomer Park Trail north-northwest of the Mill. Paralleling the Canal is the continued Clinton-Kalamazoo Canal Trail.  Click Here for Google Earth You can see Yates Cider Mill, Yates Dam, the Canal and the trails.

The Yates Grist Mill and dam were built in 1863 and the wooden waterwheel was powered by the waters of the Clinton River.  The Yates Dam is located due north of the Mill on the Clinton River.

In 1876, Yates purchased a cider press and apple cider has been pressed every fall since.  Originally, local farmers would bring their apples in to be pressed and would create their own ciders with their various types of apples.

Today, Yates Cider Mill continues to power a 1901 Dunning Boschert Cider Press with a 26” Leffel turbine.  The turbine power system was originally initiated into the power source in 1894.  Recently, the turbine had to be restored after so many years of use.  In 2010 Mike Titus and his wife's Grandfather, Charles Posey, restored the turbine. The Posey Family has owned the Yates Cider Mill for many years.  The water that flows through the turbine comes from the Clinton River. There is a headrace that begins just above the dam. The head race meets a 58" pipe that goes under East Avon Road and ultimately takes the water into and through the horizontal turbine.

The press requires 50 tons of pressure to squeeze the apple juice.  The turbine is attached to a main shaft.  The main shaft then transmits power to a line shaft that incorporates belts, pulleys and gears that allow the press to be lowered slowly and squeezes the blankets full of chopped and ground apples to drip into drainage trays.

Today’s apples are elevated up into the second floor of the Mill.  Here the apples are cleaned and 20 bushels of apples, about 1,000 pounds is inspected, cleaned and dropped into a hopper.  Then the apples are funneled into a grinder where the apples are chopped, cut and ground.  The ground apples are then dropped onto special nylon blankets.  Once the blanket is blocked and folded full of the ground apples, the series is completed again for a total of 12 blankets.  They are set on one of the two tables that turns 180 degrees onto the press.  The top of the 12 blankets are covered with a plastic cover and the pressure starts to slowly push the juice out of the blankets into a tray.  The cider is then transferred to a UV light treatment and then held in a refrigeration unit.

This process produces about 300 gallons of fresh cider per hour. (www.yatescidermill.com; en.wikipedia.org; https://www.google.com/maps; Interview with Hannah June 11, 2014;)

1990 E Avon Rd, Rochester Hills, MI 48307
(248) 651-8300
On the right is Mike Titus, the owner of Yates Cider Mill.
Matt Elenbaas, on the left, is Mike's nephew.
Yates Cider Mill is a Family Business.

www.yatescidermill.com
Google Earth
Whatch the above video and see how an historic 1901 cider press works.

Main Page & History
River, Dam & Races
Mechanics
Move Table, Press & Pressure
After Press
Apples After Press
Video
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