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Bedford County Inquirer (Newspaper) - March 18, 2011, Bedford, Pennsylvania
Friday March 18,2011 a Bedford inquirer Bedford a. A 5 Wilkins family keeps up Maple syrup tradition m m a continued from Page 1 Are contributing to a really Good season so far he added. Garry a third generation Maple s Tup producer is carrying on the family tradition started by his Grandfather Stanley Wilkins and passed Down to Gays father Donald Wilkins and then to Gany his wife and family. The Wilkins sugar House is located in the Valley behind their Home a Short walk to the base of the Mountain. A Stream runs Down the Mountain behind the sugar House and Gany said visitors have asked How much Maple syrup he gets from the water. With a laugh he explained they thought the term Quot sugar water Quot or just Plain Quot water Quot meant the Stream carried the sugar from the Trees. Early in the season the sugar Content of the sap is higher and it will take about 30 to 40 Gallons of sugar water to make a gallon of Maple syrup the Wilkins said. As the season runs later that goes up to 45 to 50 Gallons of water or More to make a gallon of syrup. At that time Garry who already has about 1,700 taps along the lines will go out and make another 500 taps or so to keep the sugar House Well supplied. If the weather stays cold at night and warms up to 40 or 45 degrees in the Day the sap should run near to the end of March Garry said. Last year that did t happen. Instead the area saw a week of weather into the 50s and 60s. That brought out the buds on the Trees and shut the season Down Early Vanira said. Like other agricultural endeavours Quot it All depends on the weather Quot Garry noted. The process to make Maple syrup in t new Vanira said Quot the native americans did an English teacher at Hyndman High school by Day Vanira Learned the process from her husband and has been helping in the sugar House for More than 20 years. A simple evaporation process is used to make the Sweet confection that tastes great on pancakes waffles and French Toast to name a few. Basically the sugar water is boiled Down until it reaches the thick syrup stage. It May be a simple process but Over the years the Job of collecting and boiling the sugar water has changed from using buckets to collect the sap and boiling it in a Kettle Over an open fire to using Gravity to pipe the sugar water from the Trees directly to holding tanks and into the stainless steel evaporator. A roaring fire beneath the evaporator is constantly fed Wood and As the water evaporates and steam fills the air fresh sap pushes the syrup through the various trays until it reaches the end of the line. After All the water has been evaporated what is left in the last tray is fresh Maple syrup. The system the Wilkins use is somewhat automated. When the product reaches the end of the line a thermometer and Densitometer measures the syrup. When it reaches the right temperature and density a valve opens and the syrup runs into buckets. Whoever is on hand at the time must Swap full buckets for empty buckets until the system turns off again. The syrup is then filtered reheated to 180 degrees and rugged. The judging process includes sealing the Container rather like Canning. The syrup will keep on the shelf for a Long time Vanira said but once opened it needs to be refrigerated. The syrup operation is inspected every year by the department of agriculture she added. The Wilkinsen expect to make about 100 Gallons of Maple syrup or More this year and have produced 300 Gallons in a really Good year. Garry s Mother Evelyn Sells the syrup at the farm House. Many sugar houses boil throughout the night but Quot we have Day jobs Quot Vanira said. Once Garry gets the Bam work done a the farm milks More than 70 holsteins a he Heads to the sugar House. He gets the fire started about 8 or 8 30 . And it goes All Day until about 11 . Vanira Heads up the Hill when she gets Home from work and takes Over As Garry helps out in the barns. Garry also drives a school bus so they often have help during the Day As the sugar water boils. Quot it s always Busy Quot Vanira said. Gazette photo Holly Claycomb Billy Kelly and Garry Wilkins empty Fuu containers of Maple syrup into barrels while Vanira Wilkins holds the funnel. The couple have three children a Jessica Garren and Kristen a who while now adults have All helped out on the farm and with the Maple syrup when they were younger. Son Garren currently works the farm and helps a bit with the syrup while the other two Stop in the help now and again Vanira said. A although the couple have no intention of hanging up their buckets eventually they Hope one or All of their children will carry on the Maple syrup tradition for a fourth generation. Quot this has always been a Dairy farm Quot Garry said and with a sweep of his hand toward the Maple syrup operation Quot this has always been a sugar a photos provided by Barb Miller piles of debris could be seen throughout the town Everett after the flood Waters of March 17,1936 had finally receded and the residents of the town began cleaning up. This photo was taken in Everett at the Comer of main Street and Hopewell looking towards the suffered disaster on st. Patrick s Day 75 years ago a continued from Page 1 Broad top had been isolated. But it was t Long before clean up started when Over 100 boys from Wells Tannery civilian conservation corps Camp. Came to Everett that Friday to lend a hand. Other Good news had reached the area the Friday i after the flooding. The first train Huntingdon and Broad i top Railroad train had made it i to Riddlesburg but it would be Many Days before it could get to Everett the report said. In Bedford county alone damages were estimated at More than $2 million in terms of 1936 values. Published reports in following the flood hosted damages to different businesses such As Blackburn Russell with a $10,000 loss the Davidson Brothers Plant with a loss reported of $3,000, kind furniture reported $10,000 of loss and Walter Arnold with a $5,000 loss. A first person account appeared in a Reader column published in a 1995 edition of the Bedford Gazette written by Jean Ritchey of Hopewell. Ritchey described the Day of the flood from a third grader s Point of View a a frightening thing for her at the time. Quot i listened to my teachers talking of roads washed out and people stranded Quot she wrote. Quot staring at the rain pelting Down i wished i were Safe in our big farmhouse on top of the Ritches wish came True As a Long line of yellow school buses arrived at the school. She says the children were taken Home before lunchtime. Her account also includes a Long night where her family watched two Cabins on their property adjacent the River Wash away and noted that 40 Bridges in Bedford county were destroyed Many of them washed away. Of these 40 Bridges the Rushing water took out was the 260-year-old wooden flood Waters reached unimaginable Heights throughout Everett on March 17, 1936, but the town quickly cleaned up and worked to rebuild after the devastation. Bridge at Juniata Crossings. According to Miller the biggest reason Everett experienced such a devastation was because the wooden Bridge broke away and became caught in the Iron Bridge. Causing a Back up. Long time editor of the Bedford Gazette Hugo k. Frear wrote a three part article 30 years after the flood recalling his memories As a reporter at the time of the flood. Quot the great st. Patrick s Day flood thirty years ago this week was the greatest natural disaster of the 20th Century for Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh and Johnstown were inundated with millions of dollars in damage. Towns along the Juniata Susquehanna Allegheny along almost every River and Stream in the state were affected Quot Frear wrote. Frear said that he regarded the st. Patrick s Day flood As the greatest catastrophe Story in Bedford county in his lifetime of news reporting. He also recounted other tales of the flood some Hilior Ous that were part of a special edition the Gazette struggled to print two Days after the flood to give readers the Small bit of information they could piece together with limited commit cations on conditions around Frear also documented the Quick Rise of the Waters stating that flood Waters backing up from the Point where Dun county schools facing huge state funding loss. A continued from Ilage 1 there Likely will be a Gap Between what the District i received in the current year and 2011-12. Northern Bedford he believes has always been very conservative in its a approach to staffing and budgeting Overall. Quot we Don t have Many options Here As k far As raising taxes reducing i programs perhaps reducing j staff. State officials Are talking about More options but nothing has passed yet Quot King said. Bills in the general Assembly would give school boards new ability to furlough for economic reasons and furlough without regard to seniority. Taking Corbett s education proposal As a whole Quot there s not a lot of Good news Quot he said. Bedford superintendent Allen sell said Corbett s proposed budget Quot is about what historical society seeks a continue from Page 4 would like to have any personal civil War Memorabilia on dist play at the april event May Contact Debra iti Pinka at 814-494-i 1369, or by email at . The society meets on the third Linsday of the month at the i old Centerville school. The society s a cities Are also open by appointment by contacting Paul Crawford at 356-3144. We expected. It will take us Back to at least the 2007-2008 funding sell added that Quot we re still working to get local figures Quot but his guess is that subsidies to the Bedford District will be Down $800,000 to $1 million if the budget is adopted. That works out to approximately 10 percent of the state subsidy toward Bedford s $27.2 million budget. Sell noted that Corbett s budget shows an increase in state funding of approximately $600 million for education. But with the end of Federal stimulus Money totalling More than $1.1 billion and another Quarter million lost in Grants the net is $800 million less to Public schools statewide. Sell said he has no com ment at present on other ideas in Corbett s budget such As a pay freeze for teachers. Joseph Kimmel Chestnut Ridge superintendent said his District actually could see a minimum loss of $1 million. Quot we heard it was going to be bad. We were hopeful but it was As bad As we thought Quot Kimmel said. Quot we re going to have to Analyse the local Impact and see what we can do without affecting he noted that the Index numbers now in effect limit a local tax increase to about $90,000 without a referendum Quot and that s a far cry from $1 Kimmel said some proposals Corbett called for a limiting tax increases to the inflation rate without a referendum or freezing salaries for one year a almost can t happen this year because of the time Frame. Both the state and school districts Are mandated to have their budgets in place by june 30. While the state periodically gets away with not meeting that deadline schools Don t have that option. Quot there will be a lot of mane vering and posturing from political parties and organizations on All sides in the coming weeks. The local school districts will just have to make it work we have to stay positive and find solutions Quot Kimmel said. Calls to administrators from Everett and Tussey Mountain were not immediately returned tuesday. Rings and the Ray town met started flooding cellars on e. Pitt Street. Inexorably in the space of a few hours flood Waters had widened Over the Street itself gradually spreading until in the evening of st. Patrick s Day it stretched All the Way up to the old Gephart inn now stayer s. The death toll in the 13 states affected totalled 171 people. Additional information on the st. Patrick s Day flood in 1936 can be found on display at the Everett free Library located at 137 e. Main st., Everett. It will be open today from 11 . To 6 . Additional hours Are available on their website at or by calling 652-5922. The exhibit is provided by the bloody run historical society and will also be on display at the Everett Railroad station and museum beginning in april when the museum opens for the season. Penn Dot will hold a Public meeting regarding work at a Londonderry Lbw ship Bridge. The state transportation department will hold an open House on the Wolf Camp run Bridge project on March 24 from 6 to 7 . The meeting will be held at the township building 4303 Hyndman Road Hyndman. The Bridge will undergo a rehabilitation that will include replacement of the existing Bridge beams and deck guide rail updates and approach paving work. Penn Dot representatives will be available to answer questions and receive comments on the project. Anyone with knowledge of historical resources in the project area is asked to attend. For More information Contact Allen Melley project manager at 696-7198 or at the email
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