Remembering Dick Pearce Of Lakeside Farms In Ballston Lake
We recently lost a big supporter of Classic Country Music and a man who made a local landmark an important part of so many people’s lives. Dick Pearce, 81, of Lakeside Farms in Ballston Lake, New York passed on July 30, 2013.
Pearce was an avid listener of WGNA’s Sunday Morning Classic Country Hall of Fame Show, attended several of Kevin Richards’ bus trips and local classic country concerts, promoted and hosted his own classic country concerts (including David Church pictured above) and country dances at Lakeside Farms for many years. Today, we take a moment to honor a man who loved his music and helped create so many wonderful memories for the thousands of people who have made Lakeside farms a part of their life. From special events and weddings in the barn, important lunches, weekly grocery shopping, or picking out that perfect family pumpkin for Halloween, Lakeside Farms is a treasured local attraction, thanks to the hard work of Dick Pearce and his family.
If you or your family attended any events at Lakeside Farms, please post your memories below in the comment section to honor Dick Pearce and his family.
The story of Lakeside Farms (courtesy of lakesidefarmscidermill.com)
In 1948 Robert Pearce bought a Ballston Lake farm for its old barn and the cider press that was in it. Built in the late 1880’s, the 120 ton screw driven press was put to use and Bob, his wife Agnes and their son Dick began making and selling filtered, preserved cider.
Their success with the cider led them to open a small retail store in 1958. That store, down in back of where the current store now stands, proved successful as well and in 1961 the Pearces renovated an old carriage barn on the property, making it the Lakeside Cider Mill & Farm store.They sold fresh vegetables and apple cider and two years later added pies salads and sandwiches to their wares.
The store’s continued success led to the construction of an apple barn in 1971 in order to better serve customers who came to buy apples and cider during the busy fall rushes.
Customer loyalty led to the planting of beans, tomatoes, corn, squash, pumpkins and cucumbers in the early 1980’s. The homegrown vegetables, made-to-order sandwiches and home-baked pies became favorites of locals and visitors.
The popularity of the sandwich and pie shop led to the creation of a breakfast menu in 1990. Lakeside’s hearty breakfasts and tantalizing sandwiches created the need for a larger indoor dining area by the late 1990’s.
Customers grew fond of Lakeside’s fare and began to pre-order platters of sandwiches, salads and desserts for large gatherings. Soon came suggestions that Lakeside cater special events.
The farm grew once again with the construction of a pavilion for large group meetings, craft fairs and other events on the property in 1998.
Lakeside is still a family owned operation with three generations of Pearce’s, their relatives and friends working to keep it going, and growing, today.