The 1880s was a decade of huge change in Michigan’s Upper Thumb. The lumbering era was dwindling and family farms were getting firmly established after the great fires of 1871 and 1881 served to clear 1000’s of acres of brush cover. The agricultural era was beginning and the Thumb region would soon excel in bean and sugar beet production.
Entrepreneurs were also creating new businesses at a remarkable rate. In Sebewaing, the town of just over 1,300 was known for coal mining, boat building, and grape vineyards. Folks ventured into businesses to fill a void of products and services for a growing population. Blacksmith’s, Dry Goods, Creamery’s, sprang up around Huron County clustering in four-corner villages.
Families Come Together to Create a Sweet Treat
On the west side of the Upper Thumb, two farm families put their resources together and built Sebewaing Cider and Jelly Factory. It’s likely that the business stepped up to serve farmers with overproducing orchards and vineyards that the area was known for. This type of business was fairly common at the time, however short of this fine picture little is known about the families who created it or how long the enterprise lasted.
Maybe our readers can fill this void on what became of the Sebewaing Cider and Jelly Factory.
Source: Thumb’s up: a collection of historical essays on Huron County and the Thumb. (1999) The University of Michigan, Bentley Libary
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