A Program of Marion County Schools

Godwin Family Cane Syrup

Godwin Family Cane Syrup. In the years before modern grocery stores, sugar was made from locally grown sugar cane. The process was labor intensive and involved preparing the land, planting “seed” cane, harvesting by hand, grinding the stalks to squeeze out the raw cane juice and boiling the juice into syrup. While cane syrup is great on a biscuit, sugar was also important for preserving foods, and could even be distilled into rum. Cane boilings were a fall tradition and extended families would come together to work and socialize. Sugar cane was also a valuable cash crop in the south and barrels of cane syrup were battered much like hard currency. The Godwin Family homesteaded the area near Silver Springs and were well-known syrup makers. Years ago, Freeman Godwin donated his cane grinder and kettle to the Silver River Museum where it is still used each to cook syrup fall.

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