Mom and Dad spent several years in the early 50’s trying to find the perfect place to raise a family. Their philosophy was – “If we had a million dollars, where would we live and what would we do?” They searched the East Coast from Florida to Maine and fell in love with New Hampshire.
In the summer of 1951, they arranged to meet Mr. Arthur Symonds from Strout Realty. He reluctantly showed Mom and Dad the “Gould Place,” an old farm with 225 acres of land on the side of Mt. Cube. The house was a major “fixer-upper” but it had the most beautiful view of Moosilauke, the most southern of the White Mountains. Mom and Dad bought it on the spot for $5,000!
We spent part of two summers in the Gould house. During our second summer, we learned that the Mt. Cube Farm was for sale. This was a substantial brick house with 365 acres of land – just ¼ mile up the road from the Gould house with the same beautiful view. In addition, the property came with two maple sugar bushes and two sugar houses. Mom and Dad paid a purchase price of $16,000 and insisted that the owner, Jess Currier, teach us how to make maple syrup. That was not a difficult request for Jess, as he loved making maple syrup and was extremely happy to discover that the new owners wished to continue his legacy at Mt. Cube Farm.
In the spring of 1954, when I was 12, Dad and I spent about ten days learning the basics of sugar making and never looked back. Mom and Dad moved the family to the farm that September.
The next spring, with a little help from some neighbor friends, we started our first year of producing maple syrup. After tapping the trees and hanging the 2,000 buckets, I boiled sap in the little sugar house while Dad boiled in the big sugar house. My brothers, David, age 11, and Tom, age 9, helped gather sap from the buckets with our team of horses, Babe and Ginger. After the first year of production, we successfully made nearly 250 gallons of syrup. When the sap stopped running, Mom and sisters, Muffin, age 6, and Janet, age 4, as well as my youngest brother Robb, age 2, helped in the tedious process of washing the buckets and cleaning the evaporators. It was truly a family affair, and we all loved it!
Mt. Cube Farm has made several advances since the 50’s, but our love for the business remains the same. The farm now taps 8,300 trees, and we have the capability to tap thousands more in the near future. Mt. Cube Farm will be able to take care of your maple syrup needs for years to come. Once you taste it, you will be hooked!