Starting this autumn the Old Cider Mill on Main St. in South Glastonbury will once more host a petting zoo, cider, apple fritters, and other fall fair after the town council approved leasing the mill to former renter Riverview Farms during their July meeting.
At their meeting on July 24 the town council unanimously approved leasing the mill to William Dufford and Riverview Farms, which previously rented the mill in the 1990s and early 2000s, Town Manager Richard Johnson said.
The farm, which has a lengthy history in South Glatonbury, will lease the mill for three months beginning on Aug. 15. Rent will be $2,000, and the lease will be renewable annually for five years. Each year that they elect to rent, the farm will have to submit an end-of-the-season sales report to the town.
The town owns the cider will, which was acquired as an open space acquisition several years ago, Johnson said.
The group that had used the historic mill for the last several years elected not to continue their lease, and Riverview Farms was the only party to apply, according to town records.
Riverview Farms first purchased the Funk orchard along Old Maids Lane in 1977. Dufford then rented the mill, billed by the town as the country’s oldest still-operational cider mill, and began selling cider and apple fritters. He later added a petting zoo and hay rides as seasonal attractions, and held tours and birthday parties.
Johnson said that the current plan is for Riverview Farms to operate the mill much as they used to, with a farmer’s market, petting and other fall attractions.
“They did a nice job when they were here years ago,” Johnson said. “I’m very confident they’ll do a nice job when they’re here now.”