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A New Tradition is Born

Written by Gene O'Brien:

Candy Brown, a 1st. cousin, and her family, who were from California, decided to come to Wisconsin to experience the process of making maple syrup.  Prior to them going back home, Candy wrote the date and the names of her family members on the steel door of the main entrance.   This was the start of a tradition the is carried on today. 

All the names of individuals who are at the sap shed write their names on the door.  Those include workers as well.  The date the season begins; the number of taps; the total of gallons of sap collected each day is also recorded.  At the end of the season, the total number of finished quarts and pints are also recorded on the door.

Numerous fund raisers were held at the sap shed.  They began in 2004 when David O’Brien and his wife Kim sponsored a fundraiser for Xavier High School.  They auctioned off "An Evening at the Sap Shed".  Guests toured the facility, helped gather sap, and were treated to a dinner at the Sap Shed.  The event raised $1,500.  The same event was held the next year and was also a great success. 

On March 25, 2006, Mary (O'Brien) and Ray Hosmer hosted a fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.  The following Green Bay Packer players visited the Sap Shed. 

  • John Brockington:   John Brockington was a running back for the Green Bay Packers.  He was drafted by the Packers in 1971 in the 1st round and the 9th overall pick.  He was selected as the NFL Offensive Rookie of the year.  John was the first NFL player to rush over 1000 yards in a game and achieved that goal for three consecutive years. John is a member of the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame.  John was selected to the Pro Bowl three consecutive years; 1971-1973


  • MacArthur Lane:  MacArthur Lane played for the Packers for three years beginning in 1972.  MacArthur was also a running back and teamed with John Brockington.  He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1972.

  • Willie Buchanon:  Willie Buchanon was a cornerback for the Green Bay Packers for 6 years.  He was drafted in 1972 by the Packers in the 1st round and he was the 7th overall pick.  Willie was also the NFL Defensive Rookie of the year.  He was selected to the Pro Bowl twice.


Their names are recorded on a door. There are many doors now!


What is really neat is the fact that some names on the doors are children who were 5 years old when they signed a door.  Those same children are now bringing their children to the sap shed for the first time.

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