SAVE THE DATES:
Saturdays, March 20,
March 27, and April 3 from 1–3pm.

Each tour limited to 12 people to ensure social distancing.

It’s Maple Syrup Season! Join Mark Stevens for this two-mile tour to the Shaker’s remote sugar camp, where, each spring, sap was collected and turned into syrup and sugar candy. 

About the Shakers’ Sugar Camp & the Tour:

Throughout the 1800’s and into the 1900’s the production of maple syrup and maple sugar was an important activity of the Shakers at Canterbury Shaker Village.  Records indicate that in 1864, at the height of American Civil War, the Shaker Village Church Family set out almost 1200 wooden buckets for the gathering of sap and produced almost 700 barrels of maple syrup.  Maple syrup and maple sugar were not only important sweeteners for the many mouths they daily fed, but was also an important cash crop for sale to the outside world.  Rather than gather maple sap and haul it back to the village for boiling and bottling, the Shakers found it easier to move into remote “sugar camps” and process the sap into syrup at the camps. 

On this exclusive tour, take a walk back in time with local surveyor Mark Stevens who will guide you to the remnants of an 1800’s Shaker Village maple sugar camp, now seemingly lost and forgotten deep in the woods.  This site was once a thriving “sugar camp” that the Shakers relocated to each spring during the maple sugaring season.  Shakers spent their days gathering sap and their nights boiling maple syrup and making candy.  At the conclusion of the maple season, the Shakers would emerge from the camp and return to Shaker Village with their sweet harvest in hand.

At the site you’ll get to explore the foundation remnants, compare historic photos with existing site conditions, and hear an excerpt from a journal entry written in the late 1880’s by Shaker Brethren Nicholas Briggs, where he describes life at this sugar camp when it was a hubbub of activity.  

Click here to reserve your tickets now.

Social distancing guidelines will be in place. Participants should dress for the weather and come prepared to hike 3-4 miles through the woods on trails that could be muddy or icy. For more information, please contact Rae Easter at info@shakers.org or 603-783-9511 ext. 205.

Mark Stevens is a licensed land surveyor, certified wetlands scientist, and licensed designer of subsurface disposal systems. He has a degree in engineering from the Community College of the Air Force and a surveying and forestry management degree from Unity College. 

All participants in the hiking tours will receive a complimentary bottle of Shakers’ Pure Maple Syrup made by David and Janet Lamb using real Shaker maple trees.

This event is generously sponsored by North Family Farm.

Top: Nicholas Briggs and Brother William tap trees at sugar camp in 1878.   Above: Shakers making maple candy at the sugar camp.