The Humes’ Sugar Bush in Harrisville
Warren Humes came from a long line of Massachusetts hunters, but he moved to the Harrisville area in Lewis County in 1856. He cleared land, built a cabin, got married and had eight children. Warren made his living hunting until the 1880s, when he opened a hunting and fishing hotel called “Forest Home”. With no option of shipping in food on a Sysco truck, Warren fed the guests off his own property. He cultivated a portion of his 1000 acres into a large vegetable garden, kept cows and horses, and fed guests the forest’s beef – venison.
Warren also had an enormous sugarbush that he used for additional income, an operation that would stay in the Humes family for generations. He tapped around 4,000 trees and shipped maple sugar all over the nation by railroad.
In the collection below you’ll find different steps of the maple sugaring operation, from readying the horse drawn sap collecting wagon, to gathering sap in the woods, to boiling it. For the full North Country at Work story on Warren Humes and Forest Home, check out the story here.