The slightly warmer weather brought many families out to Naper Settlement for its annual “Maple Sugaring Days.” Back in the 1800s, this was the prime time for Naperville’s settlers to start tapping Maple Trees for sap because the fluctuations in temperatures – freezing nights and warm days – would allow sap to rise from the roots of the trees.
Today, museum educators demonstrated the process of gathering that sap and turning it into sugar, starting with the tapping of the tree. Kids also felt what hard work it was to carry that collected sap in large jugs – in fact, it would take 40 gallons of sap to make just one gallon of sugar.
While it may have required intensive labor, Maple sugaring was an integral part of life throughout the civil war.
Kids also got to tour the various buildings on Naper Settlement’s grounds, where there were additional demonstrations inside, like at the Blacksmith building where they learned how various tools were made.
Naper Sugaring Days also celebrates the coming of spring and the re-opening of Naper Settlement to the public after being closed during the winter.
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