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It could be Bluffton and Pandora’s oldest continually-operating enterprise

By Fred Steiner

The Morning Star cider press is, well, as old as Bluffton and Pandora. Owned today by Suter Produce and located on Road R, Pandora, it is now open for the season.

We found a story from the Aug 8, 1957, Bluffton News, that shares some background on the business. That information follows:

In 1957, Seth Basinger, 81-year-old Pandora farmer, has been in the business 42 years.

Seth went into the cider business with his friend and partner,­­ Sam Amstutz.

They operated the mill at first on the J.U. Amstutz farm, where Seth says cider had been pressed from apples of local orchards for nearly 100 years.

When Amstutz died in 1927, Basinger moved the Morning Star press to his farm and has operated it there ever since.

In 1957, his son, Clyde, handled most of the operation, but Seth still enjoys overseeing the work and inviting everyone he sees to “come over for a drink.”

At the time the Pandora man began process apples, the juice brought a grand price of two cents per gallon.

Seth recalls that when the price went to five cents people grumbled.

Click here for the rest of the story and a video.

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