The Maple Sugar Industry in Northeast Ohio
Native Americans and then early settlers tapped sugar maple trees for the sap that was then boiled down to a sweet syrup consistency. About forty gallons of sap are required to produce one gallon of maple syrup. The harvest season for maple sap is in late winter/early spring when the "sap is running." Sap is collected until the buds on the tree begin to swell.
In northeast Ohio, the first Maple Festival was officially held in Chardon in 1926. In 1931, the City of Burton erected the "first municipal maple house in the country." The proclaimed "Log Cabin Sugar Camp" was located in Burton Park.
Local promoters saw the opportunity to create an event that would attract people longing to get out of the house after a long winter indoors. The idea was to serve a breakfast feast of pancakes, sausage and maple syrup to crowds of people.
About the Collection
This collection of photographs was largely taken from the Cleveland Press "Maple Sirup" aka "Syrup" file. The Cleveland Press collection of photographs was donated to the Cleveland State University in 1984, after the Cleveland Press stopped production. The pictures represented here date from the 1920’s through the 1970’s, showing various aspects of maple sugaring production from throughout northeast Ohio, notably Burton, Chardon, and Geauga County.
References & Resources for Further Reading
- Burton Memory Project (2010). Timeline of Burton History, 1931.
- Heiligmann, R. B., Koelling, M. R., Perkins, T. D. (Eds.). (2006). North American maple syrup producers manual, [Columbus]: Ohio State University Extension.
- Heiligmann, Randall B. (2002). Hobby maple syrup production (Fact Sheet). Ohio State University Extension, F-36-02.
- Geauga County Maple Festival
- Maple Syrup - from the Ohio State University Extension
This project represents the collaboration between Feeding Cleveland project member Carolyn Hufford, MLIS, and Kent State University S.L.I.S. practicum student Jonathan Herr. Ms. Hufford provided the project idea, research, and web page layout. Mr. Herr digitized the photos and created the metadata tags and descriptive elements under the professional guidance of Bill Barrow (Special Collections), Joanne Cornelius (Digital Production), Kiffany Francis (Metadata), and Lynn Duchez Bycko (Special Collections), all from the Michael Schwartz Library at Cleveland State University.