Turbine Repair UPDATE
June 21, 2012 – Bill and Henry Michaels traveled to Cardish Machine Works in Watervliet to view the repaired turbine. Charlie Cardish showed Bill and Henry how the interior fins were re-fabricated and attached to the cast head. The turbine now spins smooth and free. Soon it will be painted and mated to the drive shaft. In the mean time the team at the Fly Creek Cider Mill is busy repairing the turbine silo’s foundation prior to the installation of the new silo from Una-Lam. We will keep you posted on the restoration!
156th Season Brings Continued Investment in Historic Mill
Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard reopens March 30, 2012
Fly Creek, NY- Unseasonably good weather has helped many small businesses get a jump on spring projects. At the Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard the team is busy readying for their 156th season opening Friday, March 30. In addition to new products, special events and programming, all listed on their website, spring efforts are focused on the restoration of the Mill’s 1872 Lesner Water Turbine. This project involves replacement of the wooden silo that houses the turbine and water, and the repair of metal blades damaged by debris from 2006 and 2011 flooding.
This is the third and most extensive restoration of the turbine since the Michaels Family purchased the Mill in 1962. Sourcing the project locally, the Mill has contracted with Una-Lam of Sidney to construct the 12-foot tall wooden water silo replacement. Una-Lam, formerly Unadilla Silo Company, supplied the Mill’s previous silo damaged by beavers in the 1970’s. Repair of the Lesner Turbine has been contracted to Cardish Machine Works of Watervliet. Cardish is a jobbing machine shop in business since 1930 specializing in turbine repairs. They support local companies like GE and industries including paper, cement and numerous hydro sites throughout New York and New England. Current Cardish projects are rehabbing of turbines for the Hydroelectric Projects in Cohoes Falls and Mechanicville. “While this Mill’s repair may be small compared to our current projects we feel our work on it is important to New York’s water-power history. I commend the Michaels for their commitment to preserve such a unique and historic site,” said E.J. Cardish, third-generation owner of Cardish Machine Works.
The turbine’s history includes use in the locks of the original Erie Canal and driving pumps for the Aqueduct Association later known as the Cooperstown Water Company Waterworks. Today the turbine powers the 1889 Boomer and Boschert pump creating pressure for the cider press. Earlier the turbine also powered the Mill’s woodworking equipment, grist mill and water pump.
Other spring news is the expansion of the Cooperstown Beverage Trail. The Trail Association welcomes new members, Rustic Ridge Winery of Burlington Flats and Butternuts Beer and Ale of Garrattsville. They join founding members Bear Pond Winery, Cooperstown Brewing Co., Brewery Ommegang and the Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard in promoting locally made beverages and regional cuisine. The new members will extend the trail 16 miles continuing it west on State Route 80, then south to Garrattsville on State Route 51. “This Beverage Trail Partnership has been an asset to Otsego County Tourism by enhancing the diverse activities we offer all within close proximity. Everyone benefits from this type of well-coordinated partnership that helps hold people here longer,” says Deb Taylor, Otsego County Tourism Director. Work is underway on the production of their marketing piece, Quench Magazine, that highlights each member’s operations and products plus promotional offers to encourage visitors to travel the Trail. Quench and its newly developed website will be available by mid-May just in time for the busy summer season.
All this activity coincides with the re-opening of The Farmers’ Museum and The Fenimore Art Museum on April 1, just minutes from the Fly Creek Cider Mill in Cooperstown. For additional information on the Mill and Beverage Trail visit their websites at www.flycreekcidermill.com and www.cooperstownbeveragetrail.com. For more Cooperstown/Otsego County events and attraction information visit www.thisiscooperstown.com.