Making Sugar in the Early 1800s

Making Sugar in the Early 1800s

Did you know …

by Sandra Merville Hart

Maple or sugar trees provided sugar for early pioneers in the early 1800s.

Sugar Camps

They built log huts called Sugar Camps near maple trees. Neighborhood camps were often built near each other to allow friends to talk during the long process.

Sap boiled in iron kettles

Pioneers collected gallons of sap. They boiled the collected sap, or “sugar water,” in iron kettles. The children loved it, because it often continued all night. They played with children from neighboring camps while the sap boiled down.

Sap made several forms of sugar

Sap first made a waxy form of sugar and many people ate it that way. It granulated, or became like the little crystals you see in the sugar bowl, when it boiled longer. Sap also made molasses.

Along with winter honey, maple sugar and molasses sweetened pies and cakes in the days when families made most of their food.

Many areas offer the experience of making maple syrup. Check for these opportunities in your area in the mid-winter.



“Maple Sugaring: Making Granulated Maple Sugar,” Back Yard Chickens 2015/06/10

“Frequently Asked Questions about Maple…,” Cedarvale Maple Syrup Company 2015/06/10

Welker, Martin. 1830’s Farm Life in Central Ohio, Clapper’s Print, 2005.

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