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“The Past and Future of the Cider Barrel” at Germantown Library



Germantown historian Susan Soderberg will present the history of the Cider Barrel, and entrepreneur Laura Richman will put forth her plans for the future of this historic landmark and icon of Germantown during a talk at the Germantown Public Library on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 3:30 pm.

Ever since it was constructed in 1926, the Cider Barrel has been a familiar sight for people driving on Frederick Road. Even though apples and cider are no longer sold there, this historic example of roadside novelty architecture has come to be identified with Germantown.


It was built by Andrew Baker during prohibition to sell wholesome, non-alcoholic apple cider during prohibition, and became a favorite stopping place for people driving up from the city for a countryside tour. The delicious cider created from a number of different species of apples became famous, and so the roadside stand continued in popularity after prohibition was lifted.

William Cross continued the tradition when he purchased the property in 1971, and his operation lasted until 2004 when the property was sold to Elm Street Development. A few failed attempts to sell apples and local produce at the store followed, but the building has been closed for the past ten years or so. Elm Street has made repairs and maintained the structure in accordance with its historic designation.