Iconic Upstate New York Cider Mill Owners Die Just Days Apart
Charlie and Barabara not only shared a loving marriage but also a lifelong dedication to the Fly Creek Cider Mill.
Charlie, a fifth-generation Cooperstownian, was raised and educated in Cooperstown. After serving in the military, he pursued a career in carpentry. Meanwhile, Barbara worked as a teacher, contributing her knowledge and passion to the education sector. Their paths crossed when Barbara moved to Cooperstown, and their love story began.
In 1962, Charlie and Barabra married and settled down in Fly Creek, where they embarked on an extraordinary venture. Charlie joined the Neilson Corporation as a union carpenter, while Barbara pursued her creative endeavors. Together, they meticulously restored and expanded the old cider mill on their property, giving birth to what would later become an agritourism destination - the Fly Creek Cider Mill. Their hard work turned this modest project into an iconic Otsego County family attraction.
The mill, which was established in 1856, holds historic significance in the region. However, it was Charlie and Barbara who transformed it into the well-loved establishment it is today.
Throughout the years, the Fly Creek Cider Mill thrived under Charlie and Barbara's care. In 1999, as retirement approached, Charlie and Barbara confidently handed over the mill's legacy to their son Bill, and daughter-in-law Brenda.
Bill and Brenda continued the family tradition of reinvestment, transforming the Fly Creek Cider Mill into a year-round destination. They extended the season and expanded the product range, introducing specialty foods and becoming a New York State Farm Winery.
The passing of Charlie and Barbara marks the end of an era, but their contributions to the Fly Creek Cider Mill will forever be remembered.