Several years ago, the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association was entrusted with an enormous collection of maple artifacts, with some items dating back 200-300 years. Charlie Stewart of Sugar Hill, who had amassed this collection wanted a maple museum established.
After a three-year search, a permanent home has been found for this collection. The Rocks Estate in Bethlehem has offered space for the museum, and their staff are currently setting up a display of some of the most interesting items.
Renovations on the Sawmill / Pigpen building on the property are now complete. One side is a working sugar house, where visitors can watch maple syrup being made in the springtime and learn the history of maple sugaring. The other side of the building houses the museum with a revolving display of artifacts. Final details are currently being applied. The museum will be open to visitors beginning March 13, 2010 and for the duration of the maple season. It will also be open during the summer and autumn months.
Sap from approximately 1,000 taps on the property is harvested and boiled down into syrup. During the maple season, visitors may sign up for "The New Hampshire Maple Experience" tour, which includes a museum visit, lesson on the history of maple sugaring, tree tapping, sap collecting and boiling demonstrations as well as syrup sampling. A walking trail through the maple orchard is in the future plan.
We hope you will visit our museum when you're in the Bethlehem area and learn how the ancient tradition of maple sugaring is carried on today, and the many improvements that have been made over the years.