|History of the Maple Sugar House |
The Sugar House was built to reduce Maple tree sap to a thick Maple Syrup. The colonist learned this technique from the Native Americans to sweeten their foods.
The prototype for this sugar house is located in Geauga County, Ohio. It is in Swine Creek Park off Hayes Road in Middlefield Township. The Sugar House was built in 1980 to show visitors how Maple Syrup is made and to preserve the history of this process. This provides the visitors a close look at all the work that is necessary to process the sap. Once the visitor has seen this process they will really enjoy their pancakes or waffles with Maple Syrup on them.
Early spring workers begin to gather sap from buckets attached to Maple Trees. The sap is poured into vats attached to sleds pulled by horses or tractors to the Sugar House. The sap in these vats is then poured into large tanks that hold up to 3,000 gallons of sap. 42 gallons of sap is required to make one gallon of syrup. Wood has been collected from the sugar bush woods to heat the sap. To reduce sap, you must remove the water from the sap. Long pans are used to hold the sap while a fire is built under pans holding the sap to evaporate the water.
In the spring of 2004 we saw 800 taps being made to sugar Maple trees. In previous years there has been as many as 1400 taps to the trees. Once the fire under the evaporator has started, the process will continue until the sap has stopped flowing.
When you are in the area, stop in and see the prototype at Swine Creek Park.