Woody's Maple has been a family owned and operated business since the early 1860's. If you include the grandchildren, we are now in our 6th generation of Maple producers.
Below, in chronological order, you can see how sugaring has progressed with each generation in our family. For current updates and a more personal look at our family sugaring business, visit us on Facebook (Woodys Maple).
John Woodrow (1839-1920) - John is credited with starting Woody's Maple. He started sugaring around 1860. He tapped approximately 200 maple trees using hand augers. The taps were made of sumac and dripped into their own basswood trough. Sleds drawn by oxen or horses were used to gather and carry the sap back to the sugar shack. The sap was boiled in one huge black kettle. We are proud to be able to say that this black kettle is still on our property today.
Gilbert Woodrow (1863-1953) - Gilbert gradually upgraded & expanded Woody's Maple. He increased the number of taps to approximately 4,000 maple trees. He also upgraded some equipment by replacing the basswood troughs with metal buckets. Gilbert used (2) 3x12 wood evaporators to boil the sap.
Floyd Woodrow (1910-2001) - Floyd continued to upgrade & expand Woody's Maple. Metal buckets were replaced by tubing and he began using vacuum pumps. Vacuum pumps create negative pressure in tubing systems, essentially sucking the air out of the tubes and pulling the sap through them. Floyd built a new sugar shack in 1981 that included a new wood burning evaporator and reverse osmosis machine. This new sugar shack was co-operated by his twin sons, James and John until 2003.
James Woodrow (1945-present) - James & Joan Woodrow handed the reins over in 2019. During their ownership, their two daughters, Tracey and Jessica, played a large role in the operation. James converted the family dairy barn into a modern sugar barn with showcases of antiques in 2003. Boiling from approximately 12,000 taps, he also upgraded to a 4x14 oil fired evaporator and installed a walk in cooler that he could store bulk syrup in all year long. Since 1998, James has been a licensed buyer of bulk maple syrup. He buys from smaller, local producers in St. Lawrence County, Franklin County, Lewis County and Jefferson County for one of the leading maple syrup distributors in the United States. James has also been a CDL equipment dealer for several years.
Joshua Whitford (2005-present) - Joshua & Jessica Whitford are the current owners of Woody's Maple. Joshua married James Woodrow's youngest daughter, Jessica, in 2005 and since then he has found a love for sugaring. In 2018, the evaporator was upgraded to a 5x15 oil fired CDL Master evaporator and a 1500 square foot cooled storage building was built to store bulk syrup. In 2019, a CDL Tap Monitoring System was installed to the majority of our taps. Joshua built a brand new 3200 square foot sugar house for the 2020 season and he is currently in the process of adding another 6,000 taps for the 2021 season. He is now licensed to buy bulk syrup and continues the bulk syrup purchasing.
As we have in the past, Woody's Maple will continue to upgrade our equipment as technology improves the sugaring process so that we can continue to be a leading producer of the best Pure Maple Syrup in the country.
For current updates and a more personal look at our family sugaring business, visit us on Facebook (Woodys Maple).