The annual maple syrup harvest at the farm of DeWitt W. Nichols was captured in March 1947 by Times photographer Robert E. Belcher. The Nichols Farm was once one of the leading producers of maple syrup in Northern New York, each year producing an average of 400 gallons.

The story doesn’t end there, though. When one of these photos was picked up by the Associated Press and published in newspapers nationwide, more than 300 people from states as far distant as Washington and California, Louisiana and Florida, wrote to the Nichols family in search of “the real old-time syrup.”

An overwhelmed Mrs. Nichols struggled to keep up with the letters, postcards and telegrams, typing responses on her typewriter set up on the dining room table. She was prohibited from fulfilling the distant orders by both the cost of shipping and lack of supply. “We’ve got the orders,” Mrs. Nichols said that April. “But what we haven’t got enough of is the syrup.”

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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