When you think of maple syrup, the first image that might pop into your mind is a huge tree trunk with a few metal buckets strapped on. Maybe you picture workhorses slogging through the snow, a sleigh laden with tree sap in tow. Maybe there's a little wooden shack with a chimney emitting a plume of steam. The Farnam family were early settlers in Richfield and learned about sugar maples from Native Americans. Various legends exist to explain the initial discovery. One is that the chief of a tribe threw a tomahawk at a tree, sap ran out and his wife boiled venison in the liquid. Another version holds that Native Americans stumbled on sap running from a broken maple branch. The Farnams maple sugar camp provided a source of sweetener that was better and cheaper than sugar or molasses. They drilled small holes in the trees during the brief weather window between winter and spring. Sap typically runs out of maple trees on days when the temperature is around 40 degrees following a night when the mercury dropped below freezing. They called the maple tree stands "sugar bushes" and hung buckets under the drilled holes. Every day or two, depending on how fast the sap was running out of the trees , they would empty out the buckets into larger containers or tanks and haul the watery substance to a "sugar house" built in the woods. It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup because sap is about 98% water. Sugar makers boiled off most of the water over a wood fire , what they were left with was brown sweet syrup. Some sugar makers heated the sap further, turning it into crystallized sugar.
The Sugar Off was a festive time in the lives of the early pioneer family. Come dine and dance with our historical interpreters as they welcome Spring with a Maple Sugaring Celebration!
Enjoy an authentic buffet supper from an American Civil War era menu in the 19th century manor of Everett Farnam. Join in conversation, make use of newly learned dance steps, play parlor games, and more!
6:00 pm-9:00 pm Saturday March 29 Cost: $60.00 per person Ask about group discounts! 4223 Brecksville Road, Richfield, Ohio 44286
For reservations or more information please call (234) 200-OLHS (6547)