The story behind the Cider Mill at the Lafayette Apple Festival

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LAFAYETTE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Thousands of people showed up for to the 47th annual Lafayette Apple Festival this afternoon. But for one family, it’s about more than the just the food.

Right along the festival grounds, as soon as you walk in, you’ll find the Cider Mill.

It’s been there for 46 years, started by a man named Ross Gordon Chapman. Chapman died from cancer 11 years ago and now, his daughter, Sarah, and the rest of his family, are holding down the fort.

“He was a very good man, you know, he was very loving and he was very outgoing, he was very community-based, he was the embodiment of what the festival is all about, really,” said Sarah Chapman, whose family owns the Cider Mill.

One of the biggest attractions at the Cider Mill is the 200-year-old press where they encourage kids to get involved, actually making the cider to see how it works.

Allowing the little ones to figure out where their food is coming from, and giving them a little taste of history with a nearly 200-year-old piece of equipment.

“I also think it’s important because all of the little kids now have their iPhones and their tablets and all of that and to remind them that something as simple as this can give you just as much fun and enjoyment,” Sarah said.

Though the cider press may be scary to some at first, once they get it going, Sarah and her family are reminded of how much this all meant to her father.

“I’ve always been very proud of this weekend and, being handed down something that’s so precious. and it’s important for the community, for the people that come in every year, to share the joy to share the laughter, to share all that is really really cool,” Chapman said.

The festival picks right back up Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you’re looking for the cider mill, it’s on your left as soon as you walk into the main entrance.


For more local news, follow Julia LeBlanc on Twitter @JuliaLeBlancNC9.



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