A TRIP TO THE BUSH


| September/October 1963



George Evans Sugar Bush

Rt. 1, Vicks burg, Michigan

We were invited to the George Evans Sugar Bush, just East of Fulton, Michigan, Sunday the 24th. of March where maple syrup has been processed for more than 100 years, now being managed by Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Miller. An extension of the building has been added to cover the boilers since the enclosed photo was taken. A very cozy room about 14 x 20 with boiler dome protruding through the f1oor I think a coffee pot was built on this dome because I was never there when you would not get the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and maple syrup. A big dining table and chairs for eight, davenport, refrigerator, gas stove, cupboards and a double bed for a little shut-eye for those on night duty.

There are two lighting plants, one an antique farm Delco plant, the other a generator off a railroad locomotive, both operate very smoothly. The boiler is a 50 H.P. horizontal, 3' flues and carries 100 pounds pressure. A kerosene engine is used to fill boiler when cold, then a steam pump takes over.

Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Evans prepared Sunday dinner buckwheat pancakes, roasted sausage, hot maple syrup, doughnuts, coffee, cheese, fruit, pickles and all the trimmings.

Among their guests were Dr. Robbins, professor of Forestry at Mich. State College, East Lansing, also Robert Huxtable of the Sugar Bush Supply Company, Lansing, Michigan. Before the long noon hour was over more than 200 pancakes had gone down the hatch.

The syrup season is short and the hours long. Getting the bush ready means cutting plenty of wood, the pans, tanks and all containers must be carefully sterilized, tank wagons in order, etc. Last winter a new stack was put on the boiler and the snow was so deep the only way to get there was by 'hoof'. The old method of tapping trees was by brace and bit. Now they strap a small air cooled engine on their back and with a power drill work as fast as a woodpecker with a big family.