Susan Lingg was exhibiting watercolors at the State Fair’s Village of Yesteryear nearly 30 years ago when she truly happened upon something from the days of old. Her Michigan in-laws, whom she fondly refers to as Ma and Pa Lingg, gifted her their cider mill, which they’d purchased new from New Jersey in 1928. Luckily for Susan Lingg, she had the right resources at her fingertips for the making of a successful cider business: Jouard Lingg, her husband, who is a third generation ciderist; apples, which grow in abundance near her home in Cullowhee, North Carolina; and an already secured spot at the North Carolina State Fair.
Now in its 25th year, the Lingg’s mill provides fairgoers with four ways to taste a favored fall fruit—fresh cold cider ($2), hot apple cider ($2), an apple cider freezie ($2), and, of course, an apple (25 cents).
Throughout the year, Susan Lingg continues to create watercolors that depict her rural home in Cullowhee. But at the fair in her place near the Village of Yesteryear, her exhibit of choice is the cider mill, where for 11 days she shares and serves a piece of her family’s heritage.