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Old Mystic cider mill pressing on through pandemic

The most important part of the 2021 season at Clyde’s Cider Mill seems to be carrying on their more than century-old tradition.

STONINGTON, Conn. — “My great-great-grandfather started this business in 1881,” said Amy Harrison, one of the 5th generation family members who own and still operate B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill.

Harrison and her two brothers were tending to the active mill during a busy Thursday and discussing the challenges they have faced during the COVID crisis – challenges, they say, they have largely been able to overcome.

Harrison said, “You have to learn to go with the times you're living in, and we’ve learned to adapt.”

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Harrison said Clyde’s popular country store has been altered to one-way pedestrian traffic, and the centerpiece of the operation, the cider mill, no longer allows visitors inside. But, they can watch the old-time process from outdoors.

During the height of the pandemic in 2020, Clyde’s stayed open and, Harrison said, they did record numbers attendance-wise. It's been a busy season with more tourist attractions back open this year, but the crowds aren't as large.

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John Miner, Harrison’s brother and one of the only people in the world who can operate a steam-powered cider mill, noted attendance has been good at Clyde’s due to the lay of the land.

Miner said, “The fact that we are mostly outdoors doesn’t hurt.”

The most important part of the 2021 season at Clyde’s Cider Mill seems to be carrying on their more than century-old tradition.

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Harrison said, “It's why we’re here, we love to see generations come back year after year.”

Weather permitting, B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill plans to stay open through the first week of December, to learn more click here.

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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