Our family has been making syrup for several generations; we have sugaring pictures displayed from circa 1920. The picture on this page is my Great Grandfather Gideon Draper Stump (center) and Great Uncles Bailey and Garret Stump. They are driving the horse team to gather and unload the sap. This was one of their first crops when they moved up from West Virginia. The story is that Gideon was somewhat of an inventor and boiled some syrup using steam through tubes in the syrup pans. The syrup came out so light in color that they had trouble selling it.
My grandmother took this picture you see here. She married my grandfather Harry Casbohm. They also made syrup with my father Earl Casbohm and his brothers Jack and Clair. In the field behind our barn, (circa 1938) Uncle Jack built a crude arch of clay and attached some fire doors. I believe he used a flat pan and hung several hundred buckets. (In 2004, when the field was turned over to the current owners, they found several of the original fire bricks from the arch. I now have them in my new sugarhouse.) Several years later Uncle Jack purchased a used 4 x 12 raised flue evaporator and several hundred more buckets. Uncle Clair bricked the chimney. The first day they boiled on the new rig they made 25 gallons of syrup! Clair was also making syrup at his farm and still has some antique buckets and spiels.
My father Earl Casbohm converted a small building to a crude sugarhouse. He set up some cinder blocks for an arch with an old 3 x 5 flat pan. We used slab wood to stoke the fire and the sap was dumped in one bucketful at a time. The smell of the steam was great. That's when I began helping, about 1965. We then upgraded to a antique Warren evaporator. This was 3 x 10 and was converted to an oil fired rig. Most of the syrup we made was Medium, Dark or "B". After helping make syrup with family and friends for many years, we started to build our own sugarhouse in 2001. Currently my wife Cheryl, our sons Eric and Adam, daughters Kelly and Stacy, grandsons Nic and Mike, and nephew Aaron Casbohm help during syrup season.