One of the largest maple farms in the county, Wheelers Pancake House and Maple Sugar Camp, has also gained worldwide recognition for achieving the Guinness World Record for “largest collection of maple syrup production artefacts.”
“Wheelers already achieved recognition from the Government of Canada in 2009 with a National Historic Plaque for paying homage to our nation’s maple history through its museum and display,” said Marie White, Lanark County Tourism manager. “Now we extend our congratulations to the Wheelers again on this new achievement, which is another way the family continues to spread word of this culturally significant industry to everyone.”
The farm is owned and operated by Vernon and his wife Judy Wheeler and their family. They collect sap from more than 20,000 trees. Vernon learned about sugar making at his family’s farm when he was six. In 1978 he and Judy started their own venture on 730 acres near McDonald’s Corners. Now more than 30,000 people visit each year to enjoy fresh maple syrup at their pancake house and to explore all that the site has to offer.
“Maple is in my blood,” Vernon says. “I respect and admire the innovators of maple syrup making, so I began collecting items related to maple syrup production from the First Peoples to the present.”
In 2000, Vernon’s vast collection opened for public display at Wheelers Maple Heritage Museum, and on Jan. 17 the collection of 5,228 items earned the Guinness World Record. Among the artefacts are 1,325 maple sap spouts, 507 maple sugar molds, 694 maple syrup serving jugs, 100 Native sugaring artefacts, 37 maple syrup dippers and 263 sap buckets.
Visitors can experience Canada’s rich maple sugaring history seven days a week (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) year-round at Wheelers. In addition to the museum and pancake house, there are marked trails through an active maple forest where sap is collected and, in the spring, it flows to the sugar camp where visitors can watch it being boiled into delicious syrup.
“Lanark County is home to dozens of maple operations showcasing some of the best ‘liquid gold’ in Canada,” Ms. White adds. “We have award-winning syrup makers here, along with several sugar camps offering activities, food and demonstrations. We are immensely proud of our maple history!”
For information about Wheelers visit www.wheelersmaple.com. To find out more about local syrup producers, check www.ldmspa.com or www.lanarkcountytourism.ca.