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2006 Remodel

Written by Gene O'Brien

A new facility was in desperate need.  The bus garage where we stored our wood was rotting away and needed to be replaced.  Our family gathering room was much too small.  We needed a kitchen area to store and prepare food for the many activities.

In 2006, Bob and Ethel’s son, Joe O'Brien, with some input of a few of his siblings, designed and constructed a new sap shed.                                             

A large separate gathering room and canning area, which also included a kitchen area, was created.  The area was heated by a wood stove. 


Adjacent to the canning area, in the center of the building, was a room for boiling down the syrup.  Two new fire brick arches were constructed. 

Thanks to Bob and Ethel's son, Jim O'Brien, a large masonry chimney was constructed to accommodate the smoke from the arches.  The evaporator was placed next to the arches.  The evaporator had its own chimney.       

A large wood-storage room was adjacent to the evaporating area. 

A patio area at the main entrance to the facility was created and covered with a roof.  An outdoor cooking pit was installed under the covered patio.

A bulletin board was created showing all telephone numbers of the family members in the event more help was needed on the spot.

A calendar was displayed showing who was on schedule to work each night and what nights were booked for special events. 

Kids of all ages showed up with their parents to help gather the sap and have fun at the sap shed.  A play area was created for kids to swing and play.  A portable toilet was purchased and constructed that had a sink, electric lighting and heating amenities. 

A conveyer was constructed to assist in loading the wood room.  

A steel garage structure was also added a few years later that housed the tractors and other supplies.

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