On Saturday, September 23, 2017, join the Newport Historical Society for “Cider in 18th Century Newport: A History Space Event.” This free, interactive program features cider press demonstrations from expert Chris Hurley from 10 am-2 pm and the specialty walking tour “Rum and Revolution” at 11 am.
Peek inside the Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House and learn about life in 18th century Newport. Hear Chris Hurley discuss the yearly chore of pressing cider. Using a hand-held reproduction wooden cider press, Chris will demonstrate the traditional method of cider manufacturing.
Chris Hurley started making hard apple cider as an outgrowth of re-enacting militia men of the American Revolutionary War. Moving beyond the musket and powder horn, he searched for something those men did on their farms that could still be done today, and he found making hard cider was easy. Making good cider, however, proved to be harder. Now with two awards from the prestigious Franklin County, MA amateur Cider Days competition under his belt, Chris demonstrates pressing mashed apples with his home-built portable wooden press and specializes in fermenting traditional English-style dry cider.
“As a Living History interpreter, I explain the lives of old New Englanders to today’s New Englanders,” Hurley explains. “Seeing a workaday chore–such as pressing apple cider–at a historic property makes it more than a visit to a ‘quaint old house.’ It’s a look back in time. Most families of 1775 were first and foremost farmers, making ends meet, getting their work done. Sure, on April 19th you see the militia and minute men, but on April 18th they were working their farms.”
During the “Rum and Revolution Walking Tour” hear stories of taverns, distillers, rum runners and more. Explore the changing role of alcohol and its importance throughout Newport’s 300-year history. Along this 75-minute walk, visit the Great Friends Meeting House and meet a historical interpreter portraying Revolutionary War-era resident Mary Almy. The tour concludes at the Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House for an in-depth look at cider making by Christopher Hurley.
Walking tour tickets cost $20 per person and $15 for Newport Historical Society members and active duty military. Reservations, which are required, can be made by calling the Museum of Newport History at the Brick Market (127 Thames Street) at 401-841-8770. Tour and event suitable for all ages; no samples will be distributed.
For more information, visit http://newporthistory.org/events/event/cider-in-18th-century-newport-a-history-space-event/.