The Cidery is located in the heart of the Beaver Valley and housed in a converted heritage barn that dates back to the 1870’s.
Our farm was first homesteaded in 1870 by second generation Irish immigrants, Thomas and Margaret Camack. They would go on to raise 7 children on the farm.
The 32 x 55 foot barn is a typical English style barn of the 1870’s and 80’s, also known as a three-bay or threshing barn. This timber frame style of barn was very popular in England during the 17th century, where they were built with thatch roofs and walls of stick and daub. The primary function in England was for threshing wheat in the middle floor and so was well suited to the Euphrasia Township area, as wheat was an important crop in the 19th century. Typically, sticks were laid above the threshing floor to store and dry stooks of grain which were later threshed by hand flails.
The timber frame construction is of the Queen Post type, that is, long braces from the bent connecting girt to the purlins (roof supports). All of the large dimension timbers were squared by adze and broad-axe -- some are almost smooth, the work of an expert, whereas others show many signs of a novice notcher’s axe. The smaller dimension timbers, such as the rafters and braces, were milled – possibly at a sawmill in Kimberley located 5 km south. Rock elm, hemlock, beech and cedar are the native woods that were put to use in this building. The two beech top plates and two purlins are each the length of the barn—53 feet long each!
The barn was very well preserved when we acquired the farm in 1997, a testament to the skill of the pioneer craftsmen. It was always our wish to imbue the structure with new purpose. That wish has now been fulfilled.
Kimberly architect, Peter Ferguson, has given us a thoughtful and creative design that achieves the building’s function as a modern cider facility, while respecting the integrity of the original structure and showing off its heritage to stunning effect. Collingwood builders, Porter Skelton, turned this vision into reality with superior skill and attention to detail.
Cider is a modern beverage with strong ties to our pioneering past. We now have a modern cider facility that also reflects that strong connection.