Saturday, July 27, 2013

Vanished Rochester: Posey's Isle

Posey's Isle as it looked in September 1958 (Courtesy of Yates Cider Mill)
This popular drive-in known as Posey's Isle was located on the southwest corner of Avon and Dequindre roads. It was built in 1942 by Charles M. Posey, who purchased the land from the Yates family and built the restaurant for his wife, Ruth Renwick Posey.  The Poseys,  who bought the Yates Cider Mill from Harry L. Yates in 1959, sold Posey's Isle in that same year but bought it back during the 1970s, and operated it until the mid-1980s.

The little drive-in was torn down just a few years ago. Yates Cider Mill is going strong, however  -  still operated by Posey family members. The business is about to celebrate its 150th year of existence and its 137th year of pressing cider.  And although Posey's Isle has passed into the pages of Vanished Rochester, Yates Cider Mill still offers a very tempting menu of delicious treats in the tradition that Ruth Posey started in 1942.

My thanks to Mike Titus and Hannah Springer of Yates Cider Mill for lending the photo and providing the history of Posey's Isle.


  1. Annie Posey and I were friends as kids. I remember helping at Posey's Isle. Loved feeding the little fish from the bridge you had to cross to get on the tiny island. When I was 12 I helped clean the glass, (yes Glass) bottles used for the cider at the mill. If I remember correctly, If you returned your glass bottle for refilling you saved $.50. I miss the old train bridge but not the pollution that ravaged the river in the late 60's. It is so much cleaner now. A great place to take the family!

  2. My friends and I used to ride our horses down there and get treat, soft-drinks often on a hot summer day. Les Posey was a classmate and also member of the Trailblazers 4-H horse club and we often met there to start out on our club rides. Bonnie, his sister was also a friend and often working in the drive-in when we were there.

  3. My family owned Posey's Isle from 1959 until 1972. My mother was Ruth Posey's sister, and the 'stand' as it was known pretty much stayed in the family. As a matter of fact, we supplied the donuts to the cider mill until we put in a large donut machine in the mill! The stand was very busy. We must have had 5 girls working the various order windows and two in the kitchen (including my mother and another one of her sisters (Mom's sister Jean was a sister-in-law to the Yates family also)....My name is Annie, not Posey.. the last name was Splatt. I enjoyed seeing this and thank you for going down memory lane with me... it was a GREAT childhood.

  4. I haven't been to this blog in ages! I have a lot of catching up to do!

    Well, this sure brought back fond memories from long ago! Both my family and my best friend's family moved out this way from Royal Oak in 1968, and during those summer evenings, our folks would get it in their heads once a week or so to head on over to Posie’s Isle. So, we’d all pile in to the ’66 robin’s egg blue GMC pick-up that my buddy’s dad drove in those days, adults in the cab, us kids out back in the openness of the pick-up’s bed. Yes, I know – what kind of hooligans were these and where was CPS and all that, but things were so different back then. If they weren’t, we’d maybe still have Posie’s Isle!

    Anyway, I haven’t thought about this in too many years. Thanks SO much for posting this piece, Deborah!

    John Mohr