A Haunting Good Name...

Last week I talked about the reason behind the name "Wilcox Cider".  This week, let's talk about Peaches.

If one believes in that sort of thing, it is easy to believe that most of Downtown DeLand is haunted.  Unfortunately not all the residents of DeLand escaped unscathed from the fire that claimed downtown in 1886 and gave us the name of our cider.  Many of the buildings in our downtown district are rumored to be haunted.  We even have ghost tours once or twice a year.

Our building is no different.  Over the years our ghost has been blamed for throwing glasses, flickering the lights, loosening the screws in the bar stools, changing the radio station, stalking the morning prep staff, and various other things.  There has been debate about the gender of our ghost but many years ago he or she was given a name that has stuck.  A previous head bartender lovingly gave our ghost the name Peaches.

Peaches has been part of the Abbey family from the very beginning and if we have learned nothing else, we have learned that Peaches does not like change.  New furniture, new paint color, change of ownership, any of these things and we can expect Peaches to get a little more active. So it came as no surprise that Peaches made herself known when we began our meadery build out.  Burst pipe in the wall, flickering lights, sudden electrical problems, CO2 system leaks all within days of making our announcement.

It was time to make a peace offering!

So, we decided to create a one-off mead in honor of our paranormal friend.  Originally called A Peach for Peaches, Peaches the Friendly Ghost has become one of our most popular meads and is now part of our year round line up. Peaches the Friendly Ghost is made with Florida Wildflower honey, lemon juice, peach nectar, and white tea to produce a dry, light and fruity mead made with the Florida climate in mind.

Peaches seems to like having her story told.  With the exception of changing the radio station to something Blair hates when he is here and playing hide and seek with Sarah in the hallway, Peaches appears to enjoy her new found fame! So next time you are at the bar, raise a toast to the oldest member of the Abbey family.

Wilcox? That's a strange name for a cider...

The names we give each of our products are important to us.  Not only do we want the names to be fun but we also want the names to tell a story.  That story may be about the ingredients that go into the product, how or why the product came about, or in the case of Wilcox Cider, the history of our great little town of DeLand.

Let's start with a brief history of DeLand just in case you blinked during that 3.2 nanoseconds in your high school history class.  Check out the Florida Historical Society for more great tales of Florida Frontiers.

In 1876, businessman Henry A. DeLand left his home in Fairport, New York, to visit his sister and brother-in-law in east central Florida. Henry DeLand left New York on a train to Jacksonville. From there he took a steamboat down the St. Johns River to Enterprise. A horse and buggy carried him the rest of the way to his sister’s isolated home. DeLand was so impressed with the beauty and climate of the area that he decided to start a town there.

Using the fortune he had accumulated from manufacturing baking soda in New York, DeLand purchased large tracks of land near his sister's homestead. The area was called Persimmon Hollow, but when the scattered settlers heard about DeLand’s plans to establish a town, they voted to name it after him. To entice others to settle in his new town, DeLand made a generous offer.

Henry DeLand told people that if they moved to his town and decided that they were unhappy there, he would buy back the land that he sold to them.

Families started moving to the town of DeLand, most growing citrus or other crops. Henry DeLand nicknamed his town “The Athens of Florida,” and worked to foster cultural, religious, and educational opportunities for residents.

A fire burned much of downtown DeLand in 1886. It destroyed the 100 block of Woodland Boulevard on both sides. Following the blaze, the town passed an ordinance that allowed only brick buildings to be constructed in the commercial district. Many wooden homes that survived the fire still stand in DeLand.  

The fire started in The Wilcox Saloon.

So now we know where the name Wilcox comes from but why chose that name for our cider? Out of all the significant names in DeLand's early history, why this one?  

As it turns out, our humble little meadery just so happens to sit very near to the same spot as the infamous Wilcox Saloon.  And the rest is, shall we say, HISTORY