You may not spot him as soon as you arrive here at the Cider Mill. But at the back edge of our property, in a patch of green grass, you’ll find one of our most valuable team members: Old Blue.
Over the years, this 1949 International KB1 half-ton pickup truck has become the guardian of our land. Sure, his sky blue paint is rusted and the wooden bed of the truck has seen better days. But don’t let that fool you.
Old Blue is a classic old-time Vermonter that keeps the Cold Hollow Cider Mill connected to its roots.
He sits in his parking space like a hardworking farmer sits on his front porch, satisfied after a long day in the fields and sipping a cold cider.
When you spot him, Old Blue almost appears to be grinning at your arrival. His headlights are a pair of kind, inviting eyes and his chrome grill a gentle smirk.
Rain or shine, tough times or grand times, you can always count on Old Blue to welcome you to the Vermont land he loves.
Our mechanic, Jaime, has been here since the Chittendens ran the Cider Mill. He has a love for anything with wheels -- bikes, trucks, go-karts, you name it. If there’s an old piece of equipment that needs to run again, Jaime can give it new life.
Which is what led him to Old Blue.
Over a decade ago, Jaime found Old Blue at a nearby farm in Underhill, Vermont. The truck had spent twenty years in the forest buried in leaves and brush. The wooden truck bed was rotten off the backside of the truck and the engine was in no shape to run.
But Jaime took a chance. He was in awe of this classic Vermont farm truck. It may not have been able to carry farm gear like it had in the past, but it had years of Vermont history in tow.
So Jaime brought the truck to the Cider Mill, his place of work and where he also stored many of his personal projects.
Having an old farm truck back at the Cider Mill just felt right. It’s a tribute to the old Gibbs Farm that was originally on our property.
The land where the Cold Hollow Cider Mill sits in Waterbury-Stowe has been producing food for two centuries. Our land has deep roots. The Gibbs Farm was once located here, home to a herd of dairy cows that produced fresh, local milk for Vermont.
Today the Cider Mill continues to operate out of the old Gibbs farmhouse and dairy barn from the early 1800s. We’ve maintained a rustic farmhouse feel in the Cider Mill in honor of the Vermonters who came before us.
We like to think that Old Blue feels at home here. That his upbringing on a Vermont farm makes him feel connected to the Cider Mill’s farmland history.
This is why, in 2010, we decided to buy Old Blue from Jaime. It felt like the time to make him a permanent fixture on our land.
And to this day Jaime still cares for dear Old Blue. Because Vermonters always look out for one another.
After many years on our property, Old Blue has become a symbol of the Cold Hollow Cider Mill experience. His presence is essential to a visit to the Cider Mill and a symbol of what it means to be #VermonttotheCore.
We never intended for this old truck to become the spectacle that it is today. We simply wanted to give a piece of history a good home.
But something about Old Blue seems to resonate with our visitors, drawing both amateur and professional photographers to capture his rusting smile.
Part of the picturesque nature of Old Blue is where he is parked. Behind the beauty of the antique truck is the Worcester mountain range, a sight that is even more stunning with the changing colors of autumn.
And if you come on a sunny day, you’ll notice that the bright, chipped blue paint on Old Blue seems to mirror the color of the sky. In these moments, the truck appears to be a reflection of the vast Vermont blue sky with puffy clouds.
There is so much natural beauty all around us here in Vermont. It’s part of the reason why we love living here.
But Old Blue is more than just a pretty face. He’s solid metal, made when trucks were built out of puretruck. This is why Old Blue has remained so durable all these years -- a consistent presence across Vermont farmland.
Old Blue has rugged roots and a dependable nature, but he’s also a kind and welcoming soul. He fits in well with the classic Vermonters we know and love.
And the work that has gone into restoring Old Blue is also an example of what it means to be #VermonttotheCore. Jaime’s efforts to find Old Blue a home and restore his farming origins show a resourcefulness and respect for tradition unique to Vermont.
We’re passionate about working with other Vermonters here at Cold Hollow. When we create with our neighbors, it makes all of us successful. Supporting Jaime’s ambitions to give Old Blue a home at the Cider Mill always felt like the right thing to do.
And so Old Blue sits, parked calmly on our property, overlooking both the 18th-century farmhouse and a field of solar panels that provide energy for the Cider Mill.
This contrast of old and new makes Old Blue that much more curious. And it’s very fitting for modern-day Vermont. Here, we honor our past while innovating for our future.
It’s been a great ride. And we’re confident the road ahead is even better.
Our trusted teammate, Old Blue, will be happy to see you next time you visit the Cider Mill.
If you visit him, just a few reminders...
Old Blue is, well, old. So please respect his frail nature and avoid touching and climbing on the truck. We want him to stick around as long as possible.
If you want to see what Old Blue is up to all year round, you can follow us on Instagram (@coldhollowcidermill). We share plenty of pictures of Old Blue sipping hot cider in the snow or getting a summer tan in the field.
He lives a good life, that old truck.