Rich Bradigan's Cider Mill

On May 8, 2010, Linda Bradigan and Greg Farnham visited Rich’s cider mill and took some photos. Before conducting the cider mill caper, Linda and Greg visited with Linda’s brother and sister-in-law, Dick and Marlene Bradigan. Dick and Marlene provided additional historical information, including the reprinted testimonial found below.

Here is another page where Linda and I put together our recollections about Uncle Rich's Cider Mill.

Here are the photos from the caper:


This is a close up of the front of the mill showing the plaque placed in memory of Rich.


This shot looks up at the chute that took the apples from a bin up to the grinder. In the floor of the chute is a wide belt with wooden slats attached that pushed the apples up to the top when the belt was moving.
This shot shows a few of the burlap blankets that Rich used to separate layers of ground apples inside the wooden frame. After pressing, the remaining puce could be carried out to the back door, in the blanket, and dumped onto the pile. Then Rich rinsed out each blanket for the next pressing.

This pipe was used to drain the cider or juice from the wooden collection bin into barrels. The pipe turns so that it’s angled down, and the cider runs out. Didn’t even need a valve to shut it off!
Showing one of the flat belt pulleys on the end of a shaft.
Here you see a counterweight attached by ropes, and one of the carts used to shuttle the wooden frames containing the pulp from under the grinder where the pulp was made from fresh apples, to above the press, where the pulp was squeezed into fresh apple cider.
Here you can see the other cart on the rails that it shuttled from the grinder to the press.
A broader view of one of the shafts and some of the flat belts and pulleys, up near the ceiling.

Reprinted Testimonial:

You walk my dusted floor
Note my strength in cobwebbed beams
and take the gift I've saved
for your remembrance
The scent of apples and grapes

To many area citizens and the Bradigan family members, the Bradigan Cider Mill is considered a landmark and now has its own identification plaque. The owner's grandchildren, Melinda Bradigan Doyle and Kyle Richard Bradigan, dedicated the identification plaque while sitting on the tractor owned by Kyle and Melinda's Grandfather, Richard Bradigan, This is the same tractor which powered the cider mil I with pulleys and belts on a line shaft. This tractor is now proudly owned by Kyle, a gift from his Grandmother, Pauline, after his Grandfather had passed away.

The operating part of the mill was built in 1898 and has a unique system where water is used in place of oil or air to raise the press. Rich's mill was a one man operation. Apples were unloaded into a bin, from there they were pushed by hand into a conveyor which took them to the grinder, The apples were ground into pulp and came down a chute into a small cart. A frame was placed and covered with a special burlap type blanket. Once the frame was filled with the pulp, the blanket was folded and a slotted wood rack was placed on lop; this procedure was repeated approximately eight to ten times. The cart was on a set of rails so it could be pushed onto the press. As the press started to rise, it would squeeze the juice from the product which then ran into a vat. The apple or grape juice was taken from the low point of the vat through a pipe and poured into pails. The product was then poured into a funnel with a screen and finally into wooden barrels.

The one man operation continued until the barrel was full. Rich would tap in a bung and by himself roll the barrel up a wooden plank onto a customer's wagon or truck. (They don't make men that way anymore.)

The Bradigan family would like to thank Joe Bolivard for his effort in getting the plaque made and Bob Duff for purchasing the plaque. It is very much appreciated.