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Brief History of Inn

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 Little Home Histories, Part 78 -- Anecdotes Written by William G. Steer: Sugar Camp.

by Steer, William G.

See previous entry: Little Home Histories, Part 77 -- Anecdotes Written by William G. Steer: Tramping Out Grain.

The maple sugar camp was located about three-eights of a mile from the home of James Steer and consisted of sixty trees so close together that the sap could be carried to the boiling shed -- a log building near the center of the group of trees. The boiling was done in a can made of galvanized iron, nailed to a wooden side; it was ten by three, by one foot deep. As soon as the frost was out of the ground, the trees were tapped by boring two holes three-eighth inch in diameter and inserting spiles, or spouts about twelve inches long. These were made by using the elder from which the pith had been taken.

The vessels for catching the sap were called sugar troughs, and were made by chopping out a place in a two foot length of log deep enough to hold two or more gallons. In later years, iron spouts on which a bucket could be hung took the place of the more primitive outfit. When the syrup was as thick as we wanted it, it was carried in buckets to the home, which was no easy job at nine or ten o'clock at night, as was often the case.

The syrup was cleared by using a blend of milk and eggs and was never made into sugar except for home use. Just below the camp was a small tenant house not far from the home of Eli and Sara Hodgin before they moved to Otho French house, before 1864.

The tenant who lived in this house died from an attack of Asiatic cholera, it was then thought. As that was long before antibiotics were in general use, father was authorized by the township trustees to burn the house, which he did.

I remember what a sight it was to two small boys like my brother Joseph and me to see the fire.

See next entry: Little Home Histories, Part 79 -- Anecdotes Written by William G. Steer: Sorghum Molasses.

For the table of contents and first entry in this series, please see: Little Home Histories, Part 01 -- Table of Contents and Introduction.

This entry is adapted from Little Home Histories in Our Early Homes, Belmont County, Ohio, which was published in 1942. Its publication was coordinated by Robert D. and Beulah Patten McDonald. This entry has been reedited for inclusion in the Pierian Press Fulltext eBooks database, and is included on the Stratton House Inn Website by special permission. This entry is licensed for use ONLY on this Website. It may be used for educational purposes and personal pleasure under fair-use provisions via this Website. Please note that the Stratton House Inn iteration of this entry does NOT include the subject headings assigned each chapter for use in the Fulltext eBooks database.

DATABASE: Fulltext eBooks: Copyright (c) 2002 The Pierian Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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