Friday, March 12, 2010

Sugar Mill History lesson

Below is the product made by the What Is It of yesterday. Pure 100 % Cane Syrup. YUM! the people demostrating were selling fresh made for 5 dollars a bottle. Yum again!

the answer to yesterday's what is this:
the grinder used to grind sugar cane and make cane syrup, Sorghum syrup  and molasses. Per the grinder at the event, the product is all the same but it is the length of time it is cooked. 8 hours for syrup, 20 for Sorghum and more for molasses. the longer it is cooked the stronger it gets and keep cooking and it turns into brown sugar..
congrats to Catherine and Squirrelqueen for guessing and I think Ginny and Bev knew but held off to let others guess. click on the photo to see the sugar cane

a close up of the sugar cane grinder. The horse, oxen or a man walks round and round and someone feeds the sugar cane into it and the juice pours into the metal vat. The cane juice is boiled for hours and hours in the vat.
My dad used to cut the cane into small pieces after he peeled it and we would chew on it like gum.
Above is a photo of the fireplace used to boil the juice from grinding the sugar cane. this photo was taken at Manatee Historical village last year. It would take a lot of wood to cook it for 8 hours or more and be a lot of hard work. I love home made cane syrup, but not enough to stir a pot for hours and hours.

The historical marker states these facts about the plantation.

In 1842, as the Second Seminole War drew to a conclusion, Major Robert Gamble, Jr.,established a sugar cane plantation along the banks of the Manatee River as did others including Hector and Joseph Braden, William Craig and William Wyatt. By 1850 Major Gamble's plantation included over 3,000 acres of land, one hundred slaves and a sugar mill that housed the best sugar processing machinery than available in the south. During the 1840s and early 1850s, Gamble was the leading producer of sugar and molasses in Florida. Falling prices and steadily mounting debts finally forced Major Gamble to sell the plantation to two Louisiana planters in 1858. With the outbreak of the Civil War, these men terminated their operation and after selling most of the slaves and machinery, they abandoned the plantation. In 1873, the Mansion and approximately 3,000 acres of land were purchased at public auction by George Patten but the sugar mill was not restored to operation at this or any subsequent time. Sponsored by the Manatee County Historical Society in cooperation with the Department of State 1973


Sunny said...

Sorry I am running behind with my comments. Your post is so interesting, also the one on the Gamble Mansion. I learn something everyday!
Sunny :)

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I wasn't wrong either, Sandra, in a matter of speaking.... That's how they used to thrash wheat also back then... In your case they were making sorghum on that particular plantation... But the thrashed their wheat the same way!!!! Oh Well--- I'm just no good with your little tests!!!! ha

Great lesson about Robert Gamble and that plantation. Things surely did change after the Civil War, didn't they????

How did your presentation go???? Got pictures to share?


Beverly said...

I love cane syrup. In fact, I'm sure that's the only kind I ever had for a long time. Cane syrup and biscuits! Yum! No wonder I'm the size I am now.

I used to chew sugar cane until my jaws were just so sore!

Ginny said...

O.K. I was SO WRONG!!!!! I thought it was a STILL! Of course, I've never actually seen a still, but it looked mighty suspicious to me! Well, at least it's good to know that everyone wasn't running around the plantation soused! I still love guessing games and won't give up. Speaking of booze, if you're not supposed to drink and drive, why do bars have parking lots?

Sandra said...

Bev, I never had any other syrup than cane until I married my yankee doodle dandy. we went to the store and he wanted pancakes so we went for syrup and wonder of wonders, Florida has no cane syrup on the shelves at all. he said what's can syrup? i said WHAT? maple is delish but i do love Cane

George said...

Thanks for these two fascinating posts about the sugar plantation. I love history and things like this are truly interesting to me.

SquirrelQueen said...

My dad loved Sorghum syrup and sometime we would drive into South Georgia so he could buy some of the real thing. When you mentioned chewing the peeled sugar cane I remembered doing the same. I also have very vague memories of big stacks of sugar cane.

I really enjoyed the information on Robert Gamble.

Anonymous said...

You have a Mystery Picture Competition Award Sandra - do come and collect :o)

Tipper said...

Pap has told me how they made syrup from sugar cane when he was a boy. I'd love to see it done-your photos are great.

EG CameraGirl said...

These are great shots, Sandra!