Maine Maple Sunday at Raider Sugarhouse

Raiders Sugarhouse in China, Maine.

by Roland D. Hallee

The evaporator is hard at work.

It was a busy day at Raider’s Sugarhouse, on the Bog Brook Road, in China. That was because March 24 was Maine Maple Sunday across the state.

Gail and Doug Tibbetts own and operate the seasonal enterprise which began about 15 years ago as a family project. About six years ago, they decided to go commercial with their maple products.

“We’re one of only a few sugar houses that still bottle maple syrup in glass,” Gail emphasized during her presentation.

Doug keeps the fire going.

Doug explained the maple sap comes into the sugarhouse via tubing throughout the forest behind the operation, but also saying some of the sap has to be brought to the facility by mounting a barrel on the back of a snowmobile to access the maple sap that is located on a hill that is difficult to get to any other way. “By far, sugar maple trees are the best to tap,” he explained, saying they generally contained the highest amounts of sugar.

Once the season is past, they pack up the equipment, close down the shed, and wait for the sap run next year.

Locally, their products are available year-round at their 148 Bog Brook Rd., location (call ahead 968-2005), or at Tobey’s Grocery, Fieldstone Quikstop and LaVerdiere’s Market, at the head of the lake.

Gail Tibbetts, left, who, along with husband Doug, owns Raider Sugarhouse, in China, explains her wares to some customers during Maine Maple Sunday, on March 24. (Photos by Roland D. Hallee)


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