The history of maple sugaring in the North Country is extensive but did you know, one of the most common pieces of equipment to make maple syrup was created in the Adirondacks? Our Brian Dwyer has more from Tupper Lake.
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FRANKLIN COUNTY, N.Y. -- "Down at the turn of the 19th century, a gentleman named A.A. Low came to the Adirondacks, Hitchins Pond and he started a forestry operation. He started maple sugaring,” said Wild Center Facilities Manager David St. Onge.
St. Onge, said, “He was a pretty innovative kind of guy and two of the gentlemen that were working for him actually created a new type of evaporator for making maple syrup. It's a continuous flow where sap comes in one end and on the other end maple syrup comes out. That was the first time it was done. It's the way we do it now here at the Wild Center."
A.A. Low created the Horse Shoe Forestry company and as part of it produced 20,000 gallons of maple syrup at Hitchins Pond. He put it on rail cars and sold the syrup in New York City.
His story is just one of many people are learning as they walk through the Wild Center in Tupper Lake. The Center is also letting people get hands on, especially kids, learning all the steps in how syrup is made.
Jen Kretser, Wild Center Programs Director said, “Opportunities to connect kids with nature is what the Wild Center is all about. So whenever we can do that, of course tasting maple syrup is a big motivator as always, but also just getting outside and playing is a good thing too."
The center got help from local schools in tapping 130 trees in the village. It even built its own sugar house and has started bottling syrup. Another fact, the center says syrup from sugar houses is all natural and actually have some health benefits.
Kretser said, "Both sap and maple syrup have a lot of nutrients in it. They have a lot of probiotics and minerals that you get right directly from the tree. It's not processed at all."
Krester said you can actually use the sap as a water replacement to boil food and even roast veggies with it. Not a favorite idea for the kids, but she's hoping that might get them to eat a few more.
The center also had some treats for children, including maple cotton candy.