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Sebewaing Cider and Jelly Factory was a Treat

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.

Sebewaing Cider and Jelly Factory
Sebewaing Cider and Jelly

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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Mike Hardy

Author of a fun loving and event blog covering topics of the Upper Thumb of Michigan , the wind energy capital of the Great Lakes. Offering great trove of information on Wind Energy, Cheeseburger in Caseville, Saginaw Bay, Sailing.

2 Responses

  1. Gary Dillon says:

    I know nothing of the Sebewaing Cider mill,but thought I would mention the one in Bach as a passing note. I had a great great uncle who planted an orchard in Colwood for cider apples. I remember as a child visiting a family friend there that had what he called a cider apple tree growing in his front yard. The fruit were huge and as sour as they were big.

    • Mike Hardy says:

      It appears that there were many orchards on the western edges of the Thumb. Ora Labora Colony was planning on planting a vinyard on one of the islands in Wild Fowl Bay.

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