Saranac syrup-maker sticks to tradition

Apr 18, 2014

Last year, John Smith produced 361 gallons of maple syrup, compared to 250 gallons this year.
Credit Flickr - Wigwam Jones

As you drive west from Ionia, Michigan, you’ll come to the little town of Saranac. Its streets are lined with a bountiful number of large old maple trees. And this time of year, it’s not uncommon to see many of them with pails and spouts attached to collect sap for maple syrup.

Just this week, the buckets came down, and the sap went to be processed at Dusty Lane Maple Syrup outside of Saranac. Current States Melissa Benmark talked with the owner, 77-year-old John Smith, about running a maple syrup business and involving the town folks in the process.

His grandfather produced syrup starting in the mid 1930s. Their first tap of the season this year was on March 7th.