By: Kajsa Sabatke, Manager of Public Programs
I’m not sure how The Farmers’ Museum became the site of the taste-off to settle an international maple syrup dispute in 1956. I do know that staff had already been preparing for the museum’s first maple festival as a way to support contemporary agriculture. The festival was originally planned to be simple and to last just one day. As a result of the syrup dispute, however, the staff expanded the festival to two days and added more activities, including contests for maple-related recipes and products, as well as an essay contest for schoolchildren. Governor Harriman also crowned the Maple Festival Queen.
I think I’ve kept you in suspense long enough. Which state/province won? The governor-sponsored taste off of the unmarked syrup ended in a tie for first between Vermont and Michigan samples. (New York placed a respectable 3rd.) New York also made a comeback the second day of the festival, when producers from New York won both the Consumers’ and the Producer’s Cups.
All images are from The Daily Star (Oneonta, NY), April 7, 1956.