Courtesty: Hale Farm and Village
We have to slog through another month of winter until northeast Ohio’s harbingers of spring, maple syrup and pancake breakfasts, make their entrance. Get a jump on your late winter plans and pencil in time for a Maple Syrup Festival at Half Farm & Village in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park on March 9, 10, 16 and 17.
After a hearty pancake breakfast (including pancakes, sausage, fruit, coffee, juice and milk), the maple sugar experience begins. The 19th-century village is open to for visitors to see tree tapping, oxen demonstrations, a sugaring camp, maple treats and the process of boiling sap into syrup. Historic crafts and trades including glassblowing, blacksmithing, spinning and weaving are also demonstrated throughout the day.
C.O. Hale, the grandson of Western Reserve pioneer Jonathan Hale, had a keen interest in all aspects of farming, including tapping the sugar maple trees on this farm. He supervised maple syrup production from his sugaring chair, on display in our Gatehouse Visitor’s Center. Custom-built to his specifications, the tall chair allowed C. O. to view the boiling of sap from the perfect vantage point, high above the steaming evaporation pan.
“C.O. Hale was a true entrepreneur, he used the maple trees on the family farm to provide sap to be processed and sold. Guests at the festival will be able to learn this history first hand,” explains Jason Klein, Director at Hale Farm & Village
The Marketplace at Hale Farm & Village will be open for shopping during the festival, featuring Ohio made maple products including syrup, candy, sauces and snacks. Handcrafted at Hale hand-blown glass, pottery, ironwork and wool items will also be available along with many other Ohio made and maple sugar season souvenirs.
The museum is open from 10 am-4 pm, admission for breakfast and all activities is $15 for adults (13 years and older), $10 for children (3 – 12 years of age), $5 for members and $5 for the pancake breakfast only (breakfast is served until 3 pm). Presale tickets are not necessary but can be purchased at www.halefarm.org. For more information contact Hale Farm at 330-666-3711 or visit halefarm.org.
The Maple Sugar Express, offered by the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, combines a train ride and the festival for an unforgettable day in the Cuyahoga Valley. Combo tickets for the train and Maple Sugar Festival can be purchased by visiting www.cvsr.com, reservations are required.
Hale Farm & Village is a property of the Western Reserve Historical Society. For GPS directions use 2686 Oak Hill Rd. Peninsula, Ohio.
Photos by Nancy Balluck
Hale Farm & Village, a living history museum of the Western Reserve Historical Society, is located on 90 acres in Bath, Ohio with 32 historic structures, farm animals, heritage gardens, farming and early American craft and trade demonstrations. The location is open for a summer season June – August, Wednesday – Sunday; weekends only September and October; and signature events or educational programming during other times. Visit halefarm.org or call (330) 666-3711 for seasonal hours, program listings, rental information, and to become a member. This year marks Hale Farm & Village’s 60th anniversary as a museum of the Western Reserve Historical Society.
Founded in 1867, Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) is Northeast Ohio’s premier storyteller based on its vast collection of the tangible history of Northeast Ohio. It is one of the oldest and largest nonprofit regional historical societies in the nation. It presents the lives and activities of 19th-Century settlers through historic Hale Farm & Village in Bath, Ohio. WRHS offers a wealth of resources to research your family heritage at the Cleveland History Center in University Circle, Cleveland.