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John Nesbitt's Grist Mill / Thomas J. Loughlin's Cider Mill
Morris Co. | New Jersey | USA | 1848
Township: Mendham Twp. | Watersource: Burnett Brook.

Official Website: www.ralstoncidermill.org


John Nesbitt's Grist Mill / Thomas J. Loughlin's Cider Mill
Picture: Jim Miller 10/1992

The 40'X 55' 2.5 story stone/stucco mill has since this photo, been refurbished by the local historical society. The grist mill was built in 1848 by John Nesbitt and converted into a distillery in 1908. It produced cider and Tiger Applejack until it closed in the early 1930's during prohibition.

John Nesbitt's Grist Mill / Thomas J. Loughlin's Cider Mill
Picture: Ted R. Hazen donated Feb 26, 2009

*Update: The view shows the historical scene around the mill, and the home of "Tiger Applejack" (hard cider) and regular cider. I did a site inspection and evaluation of the mill/distillery in October 2001 for restoration purposes. Ted R. Hazen Feb 26, 2009*

John Nesbitt's Grist Mill / Thomas J. Loughlin's Cider Mill
Picture: Ted R. Hazen donated Feb 26, 2009

*Update: The old water wheel shaft at Nesbitt Mill/Loughlin Distillery in Ralston which was turned with water which flowed though a mill race from a penstock. A large breastwheel turned the shaft which generated the power for the flour mill. This was changed to a turbine when converted over into a distillery. Ted R. Hazen Feb 26, 2009*

John Nesbitt's Grist Mill / Thomas J. Loughlin's Cider Mill
Picture: Jim Miller 07/19/2007

An enclosed breast wheel in the basement powered two run of stones, which continued to produce flour through the 1880's. The mill sold to nThomas J. Loughlin in 1899, but it wasn't until 1908, when the conversion, including changing to a turbine for power, was completed and production of cider and applejack became the mainstay.

John Nesbitt's Grist Mill / Thomas J. Loughlin's Cider Mill
Picture: Jim Miller 07/19/2007

The sign placed by the Morris County Heritage Commission giving a brief description of the importance of Nesbitt's Mill.

John Nesbitt's Grist Mill / Thomas J. Loughlin's Cider Mill
Picture: Jim Miller 07/19/2007

A view of the rear of the mill from the southwest.

John Nesbitt's Grist Mill / Thomas J. Loughlin's Cider Mill
Picture: Jim Miller 07/19/2007

Pieces of rusted and broken, bent penstock behind the mill. These were part of the water supply system that supplied the mill with water power to operated the mill.

John Nesbitt's Grist Mill / Thomas J. Loughlin's Cider Mill
Picture: Jim Miller 07/19/2007

Sign for the Ralston Historic District that includes Nesbitt's Grist & Cider Mill, The Ralston Grist & Sawmill, and the Ralston General Store; all of which, are within a quarter mile square area along Old New Jersey 24/Cr 510

John Nesbitt's Grist Mill / Thomas J. Loughlin's Cider Mill
Picture: Jim Miller 07/19/2007

The mill was restored in 2003-2004 when purchased by the Cider Mill board of trustees.

John Nesbitt's Grist Mill / Thomas J. Loughlin's Cider Mill

SPOOM NE News From the Fall 2001 Newsletter THE NESBITT CIDER MILL On September 22, the Mendham, New Jersey, Historic Preservation Committee hosted a tour of the Nesbitt Mill for persons actively engaged in preservation. The Northeast Chapter was represented by Harold and Rachel Rapp and David and Linda Bronson. They report that this 3 story stone mill was originally built as a Grist Mill with two sets of stones in 1848. It was powered by an enclosed breast wheel in the lower level. The mill continued producing flour through the 1880s, then was vacant until 1908 when it was sold to the Loughlin family and converted to the production of cider and "Tiger" brand applejack. A turbine was installed during this conversion. Typical cider mills would operate for three or four months a year during the peak season for apples and peaches. Pressed into cider and distilled into Applejack and Peach Brandy, fruit became the main cash crop for the local farmers. During prohibition, a distillery was set up for a while behind the front wall, with its smoke directed through the roof at night so it would not draw attention. Then the distillery operation was discontinued though cider was produced through the late 1930s when it closed. This was one of several Cider Mills/Distilleries that once flourished in Mendham Township. With its complete inventory of equipment, the Nesbitt Mill is the only remaining mill in New Jersey restorable as a turn-of-the century cider mill. The two apple presses, which are still extant, have a unique three-way track system that can serve two pressing beds at the same time. While one press is functioning the other bed can be drawn out of the press and rolled at a right angle away from the middle of the presses, moved to the back end of the mill in order to be cleaned off, and then refilled before being rolled back into the press. The building has some structural damage due to weather but the equipment seems in reasonable condition. A facilities assessment is currently underway to determine the feasibility and needs for restoring it to an operating mill. In addition to its listing as one of the county's 10 most threatened sites, the Nesbitt Mill is also listed with both federal and state agencies as part of the Ralston Historic District. The building is privately owned, but the Township Committee, the building and owner are working together to ensure its survival.

"He who says he abides in (Jesus) ought also to walk just as He walked."
(1 John 2:6 NKJV)
Directions: About 3 miles west of Mendham Boro. on Morris Cr 510/Washington Turnpike, 1 mile east of Old Mill Road and on the east side of Burnett Brook.
 
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