An Occasional Word: The Sapbush Run: Part I

CHRISTOPHER LENNEY/WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES Sap buckets are hung around a pair of maple trees along County Route 27 in Morley. Daytime temperatures are forecast to be above freezing for the next several days.

The Sapbush Run, that was the nickname of the passenger train that crawled between Utica and Watertown, via Lowville, back before the tracks were torn up. The unique moniker came from its travels through maple groves. I’ve never heard them called anything but “sugarbushes” except for that one instance, but there it is.

Every year about now, I think back to our own sapbush runs of many years ago. We were living in an old farmhouse between Canton and Russell. Our neighbors decided to tap the huge old sugar maples that lined our county road, and invited us and another couple of families to join in. We succumbed. As our contribution I bought a beat-up old stake truck, enabling us to clatter up and down Russell Road collecting sap (our “Sapbush Run”) while contemplating the road through the hole in its floor.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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