Coronation Hall is Pontiac County’s first -and only- licensed winery, making ‘Bristol Light Cider‘ 5.5% al./vol under Artisanal Permit # AC-063.
In early 2003, Third Line Orchards was established by Greg and Ronda Graham with the help of their families at the McJanet Farm – a farm that had once belonged to a branch of their family, which was later purchased by the Wiggins family, and then for many years was the farm of George Russell.
The family first arrived in the township of Bristol, then a frontier of agricultural settlement, in the 1840s. Since that time, they have been active in the community as farmers, teachers, and entrepreneurs. In 2003, they saw an opportunity in a new industry that would combine all of our talents: agritourism built around Western Quebec’s first cidery, based at the historic Coronation Hall.
At that point, ‘Cidrerie Coronation Hall Cider Mills’ was born as a family corporation. Brothers Greg, Shawn, and Gordon each had extensive experience working in historical living history museums, as well as being experienced teachers and educators, and could see immediately that Coronation Hall would be an excellent base for exploring with visitors the agricultural and cultural heritage of Bristol township (Shawn had earlier completed a heritage inventory of Bristol). Garry and Norma (their parents) both had successful business experience building up and running first the Quyon Feed Mill and later Petro Pontiac, and so provide the necessary business acumen.
Coronation Hall was a dance hall. It was established by the MacDougall family in the 1930s, and named to celebrate the coronation of King George VI. Bristol was already then a tourist destination, welcoming visitors primarily from the Montreal area, who arrived by train. Over the years, it saw many dances, wedding receptions and other parties and was a central part of the community’s social life. By the 1960s, most tourists had cars, and were travelling further and further afield, and so the dance hall closed down. Over the next thirty odd years, the hall was used for storage, neglected and forgotten by the wider community.
Coronation Hall Cider Mills celebrated its grand opening on October 11, 2008! They sell a variety of apples by the dozen to the bushel. They also press a few times a week and sell fresh sweet apple juice.
Throughout the year, they offer family events, courses, tastings, and archaeological and heritage tours of the area, all based from the 1936 Coronation Dance Hall.