New Hampshire Maple Experience

Bethlehem, NH

History & Heritage

Native Americans were the first to discover the fact that sap from maple trees could be processed into maple syrup and sugar. While there are no authenticated accounts of how this process was discovered, there are several interesting legends.

One popular legend is that a Native American chief hurled his tomahawk at a tree which happened to be a maple, and the sap began to flow. The clear liquid that dripped from the wound collected in a container on the ground below. His wife, believing the liquid was water, used it to cook venison.

Both the meat and the sweet liquid that remained were found to be delicious. Retracing what had happened, they discovered the sweet sap from the maple tree made the difference. The process was repeated and the rest is now history.

Discover and learn about the history of NH Maple Syrup at the NH Maple Experience Museum

Visitors not only see how syrup is made, but also learn about the history, basic tree identification techniques, and the economic importance of natural maple products. Visitors help tap our maple trees so that they can enjoy and understand this rural aspect of New England.

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Historic photo of Sawmill-Pigpen building Boiler Prep Spigots

A sampling of Museum Wall Signs

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Which is Which? Which is Which? Why Sap flows Legends of Maple Sugaring origins Early Settlers make Maple Syrup Politics & Maple Sugaring Time to Tap Technological Innovation
Sampling Maple Sap Want to experience the full NH Maple Process with a guided expert? We offer private tours of the NH Maple Experience