The Posey family was offering smiles and delicious treats to visitors in the Yates area even before Charles Posey took over the cider mill operation in 1959.
The Yates vicinity has been a popular leisure spot for over a century. In 1922, when Michigan’s state park program was in its infancy, Howard Bloomer donated land north of Avon Road for a park location. Bloomer State Park opened in 1923 and immediately became the go-to place for family outings, Sunday School picnics, and many other social events. After World War II, Bloomer became part of the Rochester-Utica Recreation Area, a sprawling public greenspace that extended along the Clinton River from Rochester to Utica and Sterling Heights. The roadside park across from the cider mill became known as the Yates unit of the recreation area, and it was a favorite spot for fishing and canoeing, and later, for kayakers to launch or rest.
In 1942, Charles and Ruth Posey opened a drive-in restaurant that was a perfect lunch stop for visitors to the park. The sandwich and snack shop was conveniently located on the southwest corner of Avon and Dequindre Roads, and it was named Posey’s Isle.
Six years after the Poseys started their restaurant, the Detroit Sportsmen’s Congress opened a 106-acre target range for archery, rifle, and pistol enthusiasts nearby on Dequindre Road, adding another recreational option that attracted even more hungry visitors to the area.
Charles and Ruth Posey sold the drive-in when they bought the cider mill from Harry Yates, but the Posey family bought it back again in the 1970s and ran it until the mid-1980s. Posey’s Isle is gone now, but many decades of happy family memories remain, and the tradition of food and fun lives on at Yates Cider Mill!
Written by Deborah Larsen
Freelance writer, Copyeditor, Proofreader,
Research Committee chairperson with
Rochester Avon Historical Society.