Stratton House Inn Logo
Stratton House Inn :: Flushing, Ohio Photographs of Stratton House Inn

Historic/Scenic Roads

Olney Friends School
   Aaron Frame's Diary
   Mary Smith Davis

Belmont County
Bicentennial Minutes
Bonny Belmont
Little Home Histories
Howe's History
Belmont Apple
Flushing Ohio
George Washington
Johnny Appleseed
John Brown's Raid
Rural Electrification

Harrison County
Franklin Museum
George/Tom Custer
Morgan's Raid 1863
Black Baseball Hero

Jefferson County
James Logan
Mount Pleasant

Brief History of Inn

Change Font Size:
Increase font size Decrease font size Restore default font size
 Little Home Histories, Part 79 -- Anecdotes Written by William G. Steer: Sorghum Molasses.

by Steer, William G.

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

During the Civil War from 1860 to 1865 no sugar could be had from the Southern States. To have a substitute, many farmers in the northern states grew sorghum cane and made molasses. I remember that it had been told that Lewis Naylor, a Friend of Sandy Ridge had made as much a five thousand gallons in one season. The most cane father ever raised in any one season was six acres. A black man and his girls stripped and cut and got it ready to be hauled to the mill located in the basement of the barn.

The cane was crushed by a sweep mill containing three upright rollers two feet in length and one foot in diameter. The juice being conveyed by gravity in an open spout to the boiling shed, one hundred or more feet below. From the storage bow the juice was drawn into the first pan for boiling, made by nailing sheet iron to wooden sides. It was allowed to boil only a little in one end so that the green scum could be taken off. It was necessary to feed this to the hogs before it fermented or it would make them drunk.

The juice was drawn from the first pan into a settling box and then on to the finishing pan, made of solid cast iron ten feet long, three feet wide with flaring sides one foot high and an opening in one end two by six inches to draw the molasses into the collecting box.

This was done with a board six inches in width to fit the pan. With the board we shoved the molasses to the end, being careful to have a vessel with juice to follow up the board. This was to keep the pan from burning. One year when we had a large surplus, it was sold in Wheeling, W. Va. for $1.25 a gallon. A day's work was about seventy gallons of molasses. The management at the shed was generally by the women. Our cousins Ruth Bailey was a very good helper.

On the return trip from Wheeling, we met some men on horseback who had just crossed Wheeling creek and reported the water so high that it would not be safe to cross. Father thought with his strong team, he would try it. So when we came to the stream, I tied the pony that I had ridden twenty-five miles bareback, to the wagon. We got safely across, though the water was deep enough to swim the pony, and came into the wagon-bed.

This was during the Civil War when friends refused to pay the tax. The sheriff told father he was going to take one of his horses the next morning when he started back. At that time, stock was taken and sold by the authorities to get money for the tax.

Father was very much worried about what to do as we were taking a flock of sheep to the new home. He decided, to go another way and so did not lose the horse.

See next entry: Little Home Histories, Part 80 -- Anecdotes Written by William G. Steer: The Primary Brick School House, 1835-.

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

Jump to top of page  Top Link to this page  Link to this page