Bringing our family tradition to your table for 4 generations

Our Story begins with Justus "Dutch" Asthalter..
Grandpa Dutch and his wife, Nellie, bought the original 5 acres of property on what is now called Aden Road, back in 1937.  Through the years, and after WWII, they bought the 70+ acre parcel across the road specifically for continuing to make his maple syrup as he had done since his youth.  As years went past, he and Nellie built a block building for his sugaring operation (it was supposed to be a garage) and after many successful years of making maple syrup, he was prompted to get into dealing maple sugaring equipment for Leader Evaporator of Vermont.  
    "Gary Gaudette (the current President of Leader Evaporator) was just a stock boy" Grandpa would say- "Now, he's a good man. ..... and Bruce (Gillian- current Vice President),  " he would go on..."is a good boy too."   I am sure Grandpa meant that as a compliment  :)
Tin cans gave way to plastic containers, buckets ebbed towards tubing, and Grandpa was right there.  He would take Charlie Bacon, the creator of "The Bacon Jug" around in his truck to introduce him to other sugarmakers. Grandpa had the first tubing lines set up in his woods, and eventually the first Vacuum system in New York was on working display for all to see.  Times were a changing, and Grandpa kept pace.  Not only was he a stocking dealer for Leader Evaporator Company, but, he also had a large inventory of SugarHill Plastic Containers.
    As the industry grew and word spread, tour groups came by to see Grandpa "Dutch" in action.  The next Generation was right there to help.  Dutch's daughter, MaryLou could be seen gathering buckets, making pancakes and helping out to run the maple business.  She did this for many years, even after she got married and had Sean- yup, third generation sugarmaker!
    All his life, Sean has been at his Grandfather's side.  Ever since Sean was 8 years old, he has been involved in the maple sugaring with Dutch.(So much in fact that the name Sean was synonymous with Dutch's mention)  As the third generation grew up, Dutch would assign more and more responsibility to Sean, and it was becoming a merger of the generations in the family business.  As years past, Sean went to college and started his own construction business, and Dutch slowed down with his business.
    As his 80's approached, Dutch knew the buisness was in need of getting back on track with the newer technology in sugaring, and had Sean take the reigns of the buisness.  Together with his wife, Dawn (an incredibly awesome woman-for lack of a better word-lol) they began the battle of increasing inventory, getting the word out about maple, updating the process to current standards, and letting the world know the JUSTUS ASTHALTER was all about maple. Grandpa had called Leader Evaporator and made sure that it was ok that Sean take over the dealership, and the Leader Family was happy to see the continuation of the business in Sean's hands as it was well know that it was Dutch's wishes.
    Grandpa was proud of us!  For years, he would come over to the sap house and tell us that we had 10x more than he did, and how nice everything looked and how much things had changed.  He would tell his friends and would carry sample jars of our syrup for all to taste.  Dutch was  notorious for putting a 50 ml glass maple leaf in the drive thru windows at the banks!  That's pride if I have ever heard it!
    Sean and Dawn had four children~  Aurora, Aric, Hauk and Bryan.  As the children grew, they too were assigned sap house chores.  For the first few years, they took it all in, but that was not nearly where that stopped.  The children decided they wanted to "do it themselves".  Here, here! Generation four!
    Grandpa walked to the trees with Aric and pointed out where to drill the tap hole with his cane.  Aric would drill, Aurora would tap, Hauk would hang the bucket, and Bryan would watch-haha.  They were only aged 10(Rory), 8 (Aric), 6(Hauk), and 4(Bryan).  Pretty good for little ones yet! (2003)
    Todd Brown, Neversink NY, lent the kids a flat pan to use- if they promised to take care of it and "make some syrup"!  We build a block arch and attached  a stove pipe to the back.  I am not sure why- it didnt work-lol.  Anyways, the kids would get off the bus, gather their buckets, and light their fire, everyday.  The first year they made a whole lot- a half pint!
    The next year, the kids did the same, but made a bit more syrup, and everyday they asked for an evaporator.  They proved themselves to us, so we bought them a Leader Evaporator Half Pint.(2006)  Well, that was a few years ago, and this year they sold their half pint and bought a Leader WSE 2x4.  Ohhhh were they excited!  
(Actually we need to put a year in here too- the kids grow so fast that the years fly- I originally did this page in 2008, and its now 2013 all ready!!! Aurora is now almost(gasp) 20, Aric is 18, Hauk is 16, and Bry is14-whew! Did that go fast!!!!)
   As the years have past, we have become more efficient in our Sap House. Are children are all growing so fast and we are all involved in so many organizations and activities- FFA, sports, CCE Sullivan, Farm to School, etc, that we needed to still be able to work during the day, and do what we love with maple without being in the sap house until 2 in the morning- yeah, we USED to get very cranky around that time...so it was out of necessity that we increase our efficiency! What a bonus that has become! Sure is nice to have dinner together-sitting down at the table- during maple season :)
Ohhh well, enough of my rambling :) 
    Justus "Dutch" Asthalter started a Family Tradition that we continue to this day.  We thank you for reading our story- though quite abbreviated- and hope you enjoyed it.  We did lose Grandpa in July of 2006, at 93 years old, but everyday we re-tell a story, laugh at one of "his jokes", talk to some of the countless people who knew him and carry on the tradition that he started and we love so much.  .....ohh by the way....Do you have holes in your underwear? No? Then how do you get them on? -LOL Thanks Grandpa, that one always made us laugh!!

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