Item of the Month
Tapping for Maple Syrup
Item of the Month is a series of articles featuring some of the amazing treasures that can be found in the BHA archives. A rare glimpse of the technology, fashion, and everyday items of a bygone era.
This section of maple tree comes from the Nourse’s Sugar Bush property and shows how it has been tapped over the years for making maple syrup.
Nourse’s Sugar Bush was established in 1927 but purchased by the Mt. Ashwabay Outdoor Education Foundation in 2005 with assistance from the Bayfield Regional Conservancy (Landmark Conservancy) and later donated to the State of Wisconsin. It was designated a State Natural Area in 2006.
Tapping for maple syrup typically starts as spring arrives in Wisconsin, near the end of February into March. Tapping the trees does leave a mark but does not endanger the health of the tree. The Ojibwe tapped for syrup long before settlers came to the area and would boil it over open fires, which is basically the same method used today.
Maple tree cross-section close-up showing tap mark. Click image to enlarge.
Curious what else lies within the BHA archives? Find out for yourself, as a Pike Research Center volunteer!
There are many fascinating documents, photographs, and objects entrusted to BHA’s archive which need to be entered into our database, to ensure future researchers can access these resources.
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Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on this opportunity to be part of this volunteer-run organization.
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