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Thread: Dad Hung up His Gathering Pails Forever

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Walpole, NH
    Posts
    1,165

    Default Dad Hung up His Gathering Pails Forever

    My father, Paul Putnam of Charlestown, NH, hung up his gathering pails for good yesterday as he passed away. At almost 84 years, he has gathered many, many thousands of gallons of sap and lugged countless number of pails over his lifetime. He and his brothers ran Putnam Brothers Sugarhouse in Charlestown, and he was the last surviving brother. Dad’s love was gathering the sap and was content to let his brother boil. I grew up spending many hours when little riding in the pickup while he gathered roadside buckets, then helping when becoming big enough too. He talked about how in high school, he and his brother hooked a Farmall H and John Deere A together by chain, and would drive 3 miles in unplowed deep snow to reach the trees by going a few feet forward and a few feet backwards until they made it. During the depression and WWII, maple was the family’s source of sugar. At 82-1/2 years old, Dad retired and sold the farm as his health was deteriorating, but still came over to my small setup and sat in the chair while I boiled offering words of wisdom. My brother started his own sugaring operation and Dad always looked forward to the daily sugaring report from both of us. Sugaring won’t be the same this coming year, but he taught us well.
    Sugaring for 45+ years
    New Sugarhouse 14'x32'
    New to Me Algier 2'x8' wood fired evaporator
    225 Sugar Maples Currently,(105 on 3/16" and 110 on Shurflo 4008 vacuum, 10 gravity), (16,000 before being disabled)
    1947 Farmall H and Wagon with gathering tank
    2012 Kubota with forks to move wood around

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Ashtabula County, Ohio
    Posts
    1,711

    Default

    So sorry to hear that, BAP. Sounds like he lived a great life, though. Prayers for you and your family.
    1000 taps on vac down to 3 buckets, 140 taps on gravity tubing, 75 on 4008 Shurflo
    2x7 A&A Raised Flue
    CDL 18" vacuum filter
    NGMP 100 HPRO RO
    2019 Kawasaki Mule Pro MX, Long 510 sap haulers
    Past evaporators: Phaneuf 2x6, A&A 2.5x10, Smoky Lake 2x8 (oil then wood fired)
    Syrup made 2010:36 gal 2011:126 gal 2012:81 gal 2013:248 gal 2014: 329.5 gal 2015:305 gal 2016:316 gal 2017:258 gal 2018:147 gal 2019:91 gal 2020: 30 gal
    Tapping the same trees my great, great and great grandfathers tapped.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Nashville, MI
    Posts
    354

    Default

    BAP,
    It brings tears to my eyes as I write this reply to you. My sincere prayers go out to you at this time. You have great memories and stories you can pass on. God gained another great man and your father will always be by your side.
    2004 - 2012 2x3 flat pan 25 to 60 taps
    2012 2x3 new divided pan w/draw off 55 taps
    2018 - didn't boil surgery - bought new evaporator
    2019 new SML 2x4 raised flue high output evap. 65 taps
    made 17 gal syrup
    2020 - only put out 53 taps - made 16.25 gal syrup
    2021 - going for 50 bags and 50 on tubing

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Granville, PA
    Posts
    353

    Default

    BAP, sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. Carry on his traditions and he will always be with you.

    I have to admit, a tear came to my eye while reading your post.

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.
    Matt,
    Minehart Gap Maple

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Chatham NH
    Posts
    1,247

    Default

    Sounds like your Dad was a Great Man. I Hope the good memories of him carry you well through your Loss.

    Did he operate the Dairy Farm In Charlestown?
    I took my Daughter there once to look at the cows, shes obsessed with cows. Nice family there.
    Nate Hutchins
    Nate & Kate's Maple
    2018 1000 taps?
    20x36 sugarhouse
    CDL 600gph RO
    Franken evaporator, lapierre arch, smokylake pans and a leader hood with pre-heater.
    A wife and 2 kids.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Hopkinton, MA
    Posts
    1,606

    Default

    I'm sorry for your loss. That's a nice tribute you wrote to your dad. It's always sad when we lose that direct connection to the past - sugaring or otherwise. I'm glad you all had so many years together.
    Woodville Maples
    www.woodvillemaples.com
    www.facebook.com/woodvillemaples
    Around 300 taps on tubing, 25+ on buckets if I put them out
    Mix of natural and mechanical vac, S3 Controller from Mountain Maple
    2x6 W.F. Mason with Phaneuf pans
    Deer Run 250 RO
    Ford F350
    6+ hives of bees (if they make it through the winters)
    Keeping the day job until I can start living the dream.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Walpole, NH
    Posts
    1,165

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by n8hutch View Post
    Sounds like your Dad was a Great Man. I Hope the good memories of him carry you well through your Loss.

    Did he operate the Dairy Farm In Charlestown?
    I took my Daughter there once to look at the cows, shes obsessed with cows. Nice family there.
    Yes Nate, I forgot to put that in. They had a dairy farm, milking 450 Holsteins with another 400 young, plus did 1000+ cords of firewood. I was part of the farm growing up and until 10 years ago when I got disabled in a farm accident.
    Sugaring for 45+ years
    New Sugarhouse 14'x32'
    New to Me Algier 2'x8' wood fired evaporator
    225 Sugar Maples Currently,(105 on 3/16" and 110 on Shurflo 4008 vacuum, 10 gravity), (16,000 before being disabled)
    1947 Farmall H and Wagon with gathering tank
    2012 Kubota with forks to move wood around

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
    Posts
    981

    Default

    Sorry for your loss
    Smoky Lake 2x6 dropflu pans and hoods on homemade arch
    Smoky Lake 6 gallon water jacked bottler
    Concentric Exhaust
    250 Deer Run RO
    325 taps

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Walpole, NH
    Posts
    1,165

    Default

    Thank You everyone. It’s hard but it was his time.
    Sugaring for 45+ years
    New Sugarhouse 14'x32'
    New to Me Algier 2'x8' wood fired evaporator
    225 Sugar Maples Currently,(105 on 3/16" and 110 on Shurflo 4008 vacuum, 10 gravity), (16,000 before being disabled)
    1947 Farmall H and Wagon with gathering tank
    2012 Kubota with forks to move wood around

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,948

    Default

    Sorry for your loss. Those memories will survive a long time.
    While my dad did not make maple syrup, I still have fond memories of him working with me and my brother in the woods. He cut wood for his large home and most of what my brother needed for his big old farm house. My dad also worked by himself while my brother and I worked together in our business. We told dad not to cut trees all alone in the woods but he kept doing it anyway. Even in his mid 80's he would go out and work for 4-5 hrs without a break. At one point my brother and I bought him a hydraulic wood splitter, but after using it once he decided he'd rather split with a maul and wedges. Dad died at 91 (back in 2003) after about 4 years of decline.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Will hold about the same for 2021
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    website: www.cnymaple.com

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