Sorghum Mill and Furnace - Mountain Farm Museum - Cherokee, NC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 35° 30.751 W 083° 18.270
17S E 291011 N 3932323
Quick Description: Cooking the cane for sugar and strap.
Location: North Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 2/16/2019 6:02:55 AM
Waymark Code: WM1031Z
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 0

Long Description:

County of sign: Swain County
Location of sign: US-441 (Newfound Gap Rd.), Mountain Farm Museum, N. of Cherokee
Phone: 865-436-7318

Sign Text:

Sorghum Mill and Furnace
Sorghum cane, a crop grown on many mountain farms, was used to produce sorghum molasses. The cane was fed between rollers of the animal powered cane mill, which squeezed out the juice. The juice was then boiled over the furnace until it turned into thick dark, stringy molasses. Ten gallons of juice yielded about one gallon of molasses. "Long Sweetening," as it was called, was used in dozens of recipes and as syrup.

Photo Caption: Farmers used horses, mules, or oxen to power sorghum mills

"Sorghum cane was grown on many mountain farms. Juice from the cane was cooked to produce sorghum molasses which was spread on biscuits or used in baking.

"To extract the juice from the cane, the stalks were fed between the turning rollers of the cane mill. Power for the rollers was provided by a horse or mule harnessed to the end of a long pole that was attached to the top of one of the rollers. The juice was cooked in a large pan, pot, or kettle until it thickened. Ten gallons of juice produced about one gallon of molasses.

"Not every family could afford the equipment needed to produce molasses. Some took their cane to a neighbor who had a mill and cooker, and in return the owner of the mill received a portion of the molasses.

"Molasses making was often a social event as families gathered to help one another transform the sweet, green juice of the sorghum cane into a rich, dark syrup." ~ Tom Robbins, Mountain Farms Brochure.

Group that erected the marker: National Park Service

URL of a web site with more information about the history mentioned on the sign: [Web Link]

Address of where the marker is located. Approximate if necessary:
1194 Newfound Gap Hwy, Cherokee, NC 28719-8249

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