Richfield Historical Society

Richfield, WI

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Maple Syrup Family Day
March 24, 2018

A sunny but windy day didn't deter an estimated 500+ visitors at the Richfield Historical Park to enjoy the 10th annual Maple Syrup Family Day. They came to learn how trees are tapped, sap collected, and then boiled down to make delicious maple syrup. Demonstrations explained how this process is done now and how it was done long ago.

 

 

 

The wood burning sap evaporator was bubbling, filling the sugar shack with steam. Did you know it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup?  It wasn't long before all the syrup that had been produced and bottled this season was all sold. 

 

 

 

The new blacksmith shop was a flurry of activity with the 'smithies' pounding the hot iron and shaping it into hooks and other useful items. What a great way for the younger generation to see how metal tools were made long ago.

 

 

Visitors, young and old, sampled the hot dogs, chili dogs, hot cocoa (tasted so good on this chilly day), and homemade goodies. The signature treat of the Richfield Historical Society, maple cotton candy, was very popular. And, the RHS mascot, Richie Raccoon, became friends with some of the children.

Inside the recently rearranged Motz Log Cabin, children were fascinated with the stories of how life was in a one-room cabin long ago.

Once again, an RHS friend, Laverne Schmidt, brought along many of his artifacts. You could try your hand at using a corn sheller, turn the crank to shred corn stalks, or use a fanning mill. Did you know that a fanning mill separated the weed seeds from the oat seeds?

 

Attendees enjoyed a people mover ride from the sugaring area to the north end of the Park where the Mill House, Messer/Mayer Mill and Lillicrapp Welcome Center are located.

Inside the Mill House, visitors could see that life was possible without running water or an indoor bathroom or a TV. Did you know a flat iron was heated on a wood burning stove and then used to iron clothes?

The Mill, of course, is always an adventure as you learned how grain was hauled from a wagon, weighed, and then dumped into the hopper. The giant millstones ground the grain into flour when the Mill was operational many years ago.

The Lillicrapp Welcome Center featured a double coffee grinder, scale to weigh eggs -- all this and more in the General Store. The photography collection depicts long-ago days in Richfield.

 

 

 

A big Thank You goes to all who attended and the Richfield Historical Society volunteers who made this event happen. Another great family event at the Richfield Historical Park. Mark your calendars for this event in 2019 -- it always happens around the end of March.

Testimonial from an Attendee:
"Our family really enjoyed being at the Park today. It gave us a fun thing to do outside. I tap a few trees on my property, and I had a chance to talk with the guys who are making the syrup here."

 

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