My grandfather Howard Lawrence started making maple syrup in Lake Placid, New York, when he was a teen in the 1920s. In the 1930s, he worked as a stunt man and sled dog driver in silent films. He worked at the III Winter Olympic Games 1932, held in Lake Placid. He was a builder, but every spring when it was too snowy and muddy for construction, he went into his woods and made maple syrup.
His sugar shack was little more than a corrugated metal roof held up by four posts. There was no electricity. The sap was boiled down in a large flat pan sitting over a wood fire until is became a dark, rich treat. This was old school sugaring.
Despite old school, he was one of the first sugarmakers in Northern New York to switch from buckets to tubing. Hauling buckets in deep snow is hard work.