The Maple Tree Inn Story
The Maple Tree Inn began serving its first pancakes and maple syrup
in the year 1963. But first, lets go back to when the Cartwrights
first began producing maple syrup.
Jacob Closser, Ronalds great-great grandfather,
began the operation back in the 1850s with seven small evaporators.
The maple syrup he produced was made into sugar cakes and peddled in Geneseo,
Mount Morris, Nunda and Dalton. In 1913, Austin Cartwright, Ronalds
grandfather, bought the farm and sugar bush from Jacobs heirs. He
then continued the tradition of producing maple syrup.
Ronald, along with his brother Clarence, and two
sisters Eileen and Norma, came to live with their grandparents, Austin
and Grace Cartwright, in 1933, after their parents died within five months
of each other. This was quite an undertaking considering that all four
of the children were under the age of seven. Ronald, Clarence, and their
grandfather maintained a small shack on the farm which burned in 1937.
They then built another one which Ronald and Clarence continued to operate
after their grandfather died in 1961. But as fate would have it that shack
also burned in 1962.
Still wanting to continue producing maple syrup,
Ronald and his wife Virginia, whom he married in 1949, decided to build
another sugar shack in 1963; however, this one was going to be different.
They discussed the idea of building a restaurant where they could serve
pancakes just like the ones Ronalds grandmother used to make, and
sell their syrup to the public, instead of selling it in bulk to Vermont.
Thus, the Maple Tree Inn was born.
Since the restaurant began there has never been a shortage
of helping hands as Ronald and Virginia had six children Dale,
Brenda, Dewight, Kenny, LaVergne and Rhonda. Life was kept hectic with
running the restaurant, managing a large dairy farm, and attending school
The Cartwright business has seen much progress over
the years. The family has grown and now the grandchildren are helping.
The restaurant has been remodeled and expanded many times, all the while
perfecting the famous family pancake recipe. The restaurant originally
seated just fifteen people. The family places approximately 8,000 taps
each year and most of the sap is piped by tubing to holding tanks. The
large evaporator is still fired by wood, but the time consuming task of
boiling has been greatly reduced by the 1984 installation of a reverse
osmosis machine. This modern equipment removes the excess water from the
sap, thus reducing the time and energy needed to produce syrup.
Despite its somewhat out of the way location, we have managed
to attract people from around the world each spring season. Our customers
come from as far away as Germany and Japan, and as close as across the road.
On occasion, the woods-like setting enables visitors to view deer and wild
turkey from the restaurant.
So, no matter how far you came were awfully
glad you did,
and its been a pleasure for our family to have served you.