It's time for cider mills and apple orchards
Posted on 10/06/2022
Mayor Brian Turnbull Dear Northvillians and friends, 

Continuing my fall series, let’s look at local cider mills through time and why Northville was the epicenter for apples and cider.
As ever, there are a great deal of activities going on in ‘The Ville’ this October … so get out and enjoy fall in the community.

Before we look at cider mills and apple orchards dating back to the mid 1800’s, let’s look at a few key dates and some local updates:

• Northville’s Farmers Market is in its last month of the season, offering Michigan goods and produce. Every Thursday from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at 7 Mile and Center.

Skeletons Are Alive event, Oct. 7, Downton Northville. Come see the skeletons (120+ of them!) on display around the Ville through Halloween

• Cars and Coffee Saturday, Oct. 8, 8 - 10 a.m. – Join our monthly gathering (2nd Saturdays) at 212 W. Cady Street, behind Old Village School next to the library. Bring a car/bring yourself.

• Celebrate art, music and history at the Northville Art House’s Halloween Art Crawl – Saturday, Oct. 22. For more info: call 248 344-0497.

Witches Night Out in Northville – Oct. 13, 6 - 9 p.m.

History Lecture at the Community Center by the Mayor – Oct. 13, 6 p.m.

• Northville’s Parmenter’s Cider Mill, since 1873 – (630 Baseline), open for the season. Also on its campus, check out Northville Winery & Brewing Co. with its music.

• Concerts every Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. through October – Downtown.

Cider Mills in Northville

1873 – Northville’s Parmenter’s Cider Mill (Baseline Road) was established by two Civil War vets and has been going strong ever since. It’s the oldest cider mill in the area and its cider press was originally powered by a team of horses walking in circles.

1898 – The Northville area was, by this time, noted for its apples, and this week in 1898 The Record noted that at the Northville train station, barrels of local apples were being shipped all over the country.

1909 – The apple crop in and around Northville proved to be one of the best in history. Thousands of barrels of apples were shipped out this year.

1918 – The 2nd annual Wayne County Fair (largest fair in the state) at Northville Downs hosted citizens from southeastern Michigan who sampled local apples and cider.

1919 – Northville’s newly established Orchard Heights housing development was publicized in The Record. Geographically, it was the old Eaton Family Orchard that covered Rogers to Clement, and 7 Mile to Main.

1998 – Foreman’s Orchards (7 Mile and Ridge Area) transitioned from being an orchard to the subdivision known as Maybury Crossing (similar to Orchard Heights).

We’ve had many orchards in the area, including Parmenter’s, Eaton’s, Foreman’s, Obstbaum, Three Cedars Farm and Apple Crest Orchard located at Haggerty/8 Mile, close to Meijer. Apple Crest had an old estate home on the grounds that burned in 1979 before the new shopping area was developed there.

I grew up in Orchard Heights and continue to live there today. I can attest there are still some of the original trees from the orchard days in the vicinity (apple, cherry, pear, and peach trees).

You can see that Northville was quite a hot spot for apples and cider in years past, along with neighboring Novi and South Lyon. Take a trip down to Parmenter’s Cider Mill and think of the apple press being turned by a team of horses and farmers from the area bringing in their apples to sell. And then refresh with some local cider and doughnuts. Enjoy Fall to its fullest!

Cider mills and signs