The First Dufresne Sugar House
The original evaporator arch, in my great grandfather Louis’ day, was carved out of stone. It was outdoors. The boiling pan was set upon that. When my grandfather, Arthur, decided to modernize, he ordered an evaporator from the Vermont Evaporator Company. The company would take his syrup crop in trade until the price was met. My grandfather realized that it would take years to pay off the equipment in this manner. He had a better idea. He packed up the syrup himself, loaded it on his horse-drawn wagon, and drove it down to Holyoke to sell at a plumbing store in which his sister worked. He was able to pay off the evaporator in only a couple of years this way.
The sugar house in which the evaporator was installed was a two-story building set into a hillside. The team of horses would draw the wagon through doors right into the building. The sap would be unloaded into a holding tank up there, and the sap would be allowed down into the evaporator which was housed below, on the lower level. Then the team would continue on out the other side of the building.