Vermontville is a True Heritage Foundation

Attending Vermontville’s Maple Syrup Festival. Finding Our Roots and “The Boot.”

Last week-end, my husband, Dave, and I decided to take a break and visit Vermontville to attend their yearly Maple Syrup Festival. We do like pure maple syrup on our buckwheat pancakes and had none in the refrigerator. So why not go exploring for this special treasure.

The drive to Vermontville took about 40 minutes through what I call the “sticks” of Michigan. Arriving, I was astounded at the amount of traffic swarming onto this small village. It reminded me of the 1950’s TV. show, “Mayberry.”

We had to decide if we wanted to pay $3.00 to park on someone’s lawn, or park on the side of the road and hike a half mile back into town. The sky was gray and temperature cool, but considering this an adventure decided to walk. We probably should have paid the $3.00 to support all of this “free” enterprise, but money, you know, is tight these days.

Our first sight involved listening to a group of bagpipers. They were excellent. Then we walked around the town to get our bearings and catch the carnival atmosphere. Families were having a blast riding the various carnival rides and playing the carnival games. We then shopped around for the maple syrup.

Lots of choices. We could either purchase maple syrup made from Vermont or syrup made right here in Vermontville. Of course, I wanted the best tasting syrup and learned that the darker the syrup the stronger the maple flavor. Furthermore, the darker syrup comes first when tapping the maple tree, and if you are lucky one may eventually obtain a lighter color of syrup over a 10 day period or so. This year produced the lighter syrup. I chose a lighter syrup and bought some maple sugar candies made right here in Vermontville next to the Indian Totem pole. Across the street was an exhibit of lumbering tools used to build this settlement.

Being about noon, we decided to have lunch at the First Congregational Church. This truly is an historic site. Vermontville was established in 1835 by settlers who wanted religious freedom and a quiet setting to educate their children. We browsed through a museum studying the grammar books and observing the ladies’ designer dresses of the time. We then strolled back to the church and headed downstairs to a delicious meal of hot roast beef sandwiches with mashed potatoes and gravy with also a little cup servings of refreshing vinegar type coleslaw. The townspeople were very gracious and offered us pie for dessert. I had peach pie and Dave had dark cinnamon apple pie. It really was hard to choose the piece of pie. Dave asked if he could have the job of serving the pie. If I could of had two, my next choice would have been the strawberry rhubarb pie.

After lunch, we watched the Maple Syrup Parade. The high school band played, the Maple Syrup princesses waved, and the tractors and the old fire engine rolled. The whole nostalgic experience reminded Dave of being on his Aunt’s farm when life was simpler. Overall, I found it quite relaxing until Dave spotted Rep. Mark Shauer a Pelosi “lapdog”. His shout outs broke the atmosphere and unglued me, but for him this was the highlight of the trip and did certainly make his day. I will now pass the torch to him.

It is good to visit small communities when there is a celebration going on, if for no other reason than to remember the past the very foundation of our present. After the war of 1812, the Northwest (what we now refer to as the Midwest) was opened for settlement. Maple sugar was first processed by the Indians.

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