Sorghum Cane - Mountain Farm Museum - near Cherokee, NC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 35° 30.735 W 083° 18.243
17S E 291051 N 3932293
Quick Description: a lot of work for a small reward. Link inside shows a can mill up close and the info about in from a display in Doniphan, Missouri.
Location: North Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 2/24/2019 6:42:05 AM
Waymark Code: WM104EE
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
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
Marker erected by: Great Smokey Mountains National park; National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior

Sorghum Cane
Sorghum cane descended from wild grasses that are native to parts of Africa and Asia where humans have cultivated it for more than 4000 years. It was introduced to this country in the 1700s. Through the centuries, various types of sorghum have been grown to produce grain for bread, feed for livestock, straw for brooms, and juice for making a sweet syrup.

Sweet sorghum for syrup was grown most often in the southern mountains where it was planted and cultivated mush like corn. The stalks were cut in the fall and an animal-powered cane mill was used to crush the cane and extract the juice for making syrup. The leves and seeds of the plant could be fed to livestock.

cane mill and molasses shed
  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 in 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." ~ Text by Tom Robbins, for Great Smoky Mountain Association & Nationals Park Service

Group that erected the marker: Great Smokey Mountains National park; National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior

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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