An overwhelming desire to enjoy the quintessential fall experience recently overtook us: cider, doughnuts and a fall color tour. So Chuck and I consulted our LifeInMichigan Facebook followers for cider mill suggestions. They were quick to respond: Spicers in Fenton, Parmenter’s in Northville, Franklin Cider Mill in Bloomfield Hills, Uncle John’s Cider Mill in St. Johns, and Dexter Cider Mill. It was a tough choice.
Dexter Cider Mill
Mostly because of its location in the sweet, little town of Dexter, Michigan we selected Dexter Cider Mill as our destination. We’ve got more pictures from our visit in our gallery.
Dexter Cider Mill holds the title of the oldest continuously operating cider mill in Michigan. It opened in 1866 and is still making cider the same way it has been done for 120 years with an oak rack press.Only locally grown and hand picked apples are used to make their cider. They blend 3-5 different variety of apples in each pressing, so each press creates a unique batch of cider.
Chuck tasked me with picking the perfect sweet treat to accompany our cider. The mill makes its treats in its own bakery. Depending on the day, they offer doughnuts, caramel apples, apple nut bread, apple pies, apple strudel, apple turnovers and gingersnaps. I absolutely love gingersnaps so finding these cookies made my day. Holding his cookie delicately between two fingers, Chuck took a crunchy bite. With brows furrowed, he asked, “What is this?” I said, “That my dear, is a home made gingersnap!” Since it was a shaped like a pumpkin he might have been expecting a pumpkin cookie. He quickly finished it and licked the crumbs from his fingertips. It appears the gingersnap made Chuck’s day.
If you are looking for hay rides, a moon bounce, petting zoo or corn maze, Dexter Cider Mill is not for you. If you are looking for a tranquil spot on the Huron River to enjoy a taste of fall, then it is the perfect cider mill. I couldn’t help trying to channel the spirit of my 3rd Great Grandmother, Maria Dederick Emerick, who lived in Dexter in the 1860’s. I closed my eyes and imagined her sipping cider by the Huron River while on a picnic with her family.
She didn’t say anything immediately and no ghostly apparitions appeared before me. We finished our apple cider and strolled around the corner of the building. Here we stumbled upon an old crate with Dietrich Orchard stamped on it. Perhaps she was trying to talk to me.
“You know I’m related to the Dederick’s,” I said to Chuck. He laughed out loud. Yes, it was a hearty belly laugh. He said, “That doesn’t surprise me.” His laugher wasn’t exactly the response I was expecting. I’m sure you are thinking the names are spelled differently, but names were fluid back then and easily changed. It wasn’t out of the realm of possibility. When we got home a Google search reveled, “The Dietrich Orchards were started by Al Dietrich’s great-great grandfather, Joseph Dietrich five generations ago and the family business has remained intact ever since.” It appears we are not even distant cousins.
(Cornelia Emerick married Johann Lewick on Ocoter 6, 1852. Their son, William Lewick was Ruth Lewick‘s father. She is my grandmother.) It would have been a bit creepy if I was actually related to the “Dietrich” family printed on this crate.
Fall Color Tour
A hike in Stinchfield Woods completed our fall experience. It is a field research area used by the University of Michigan faculty and staff. Public use of the woods is encouraged so don’t worry we weren’t trespassing. If you are looking for a map, the Stinchfield Woods Caretakers have been kind enough to provide one.
Stop by our Fall gallery for more pictures of Michigan’s fall beauty.
Share the News
If you enjoyed our Spirit of Fall post, then share it on your favorite social media venue or send it as a link to your friends and family.
We’d really love it if you’d like our Facebook page too. You can always get our posts delivered to your email box by subscribing to our newsletter.