Little Beaver Historical Society
Northern Beaver County
Farming & Agriculture
19th Century Farming Communities - By the Numbers
Serious About Cider
“MAKING CIDER, 1919”
Frank Steele grew up on a farm near the intersection of Blackhawk and Georgetown Roads in South Beaver Township. According to LBHS historian Charles Townsend, “Frank wrote his memories by hand in a loose-leaf notebook sometime during the 1970’s when he w as in his seventies. My late cousin, Peg Townsend, who lived in the house of Mr. Steele’s grandparents, William and Susannah Smith, built in 1908 after their log cabin burned, provided me with the copy.” Here is Mr, Steele’s account of cider making:
“My father bought a cider press from Lutz Brothers of Chewton, Pa. for $75.00. The press was a Mount Gilead Hydraulic 30 inch, and was run by a four horse power Detroit, one-cylinder engine. We did not have enough power. I had a 1914 Buick (that) I took the body off and put a 24 inch pulley on the drive shaft, and it really made the press hum. About everyone going by stopped to watch the old Buick. Howard McCreary sold Buicks in Beaver Falls (and) he brought out a Buick factory man to get pictures of it.
“My father bought a 8-16 International tractor from Joe Court about 1919 (and) he also bought a (larger) cider press, 36 inch, from Tom Madden about 1922 for $100.00. We could press 2 barrels of cider at one time. It was operated with the tractor. We would make from 40 to 50 barrel a day on the large press. I sold the press to Mr. Rupert, near New Waterford, Ohio, in 1939. We charged one dollar a barrel for making cider.” (About $17 in today’s dollars).
Source: LBHS Facebook post, October 20, 2020.
Farming in the Shadow of Nuclear Power
“Good judgement and a cool head will be helpful in protecting the Agricultural Community in the event of a nuclear reactor accident.”