SPRINGHILL, N.S. – A sugar camp and all its memories are hard to replace, but that’s what Gordon and Joan Brown hope to do.
On Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Springhill Fire Hall is hosting a fundraiser for the Brown’s to help them rebuild their East Mapleton sugar camp that was destroyed by fire between the evening of April 3 and morning of April 4, 2019.
“The sad thing about it is, we can replace the building but we can’t replace the door,” Joan said. “It was built back in the late ’30s or early ’40s. It was from Gordon’s father’s camp, and it had all these names engraved in it from 1941 and 1946 and so-on.”
The walls had many memories written on them as well.
“Everybody who came to the camp used a black permanent marker or a red permanent marker to write on the walls, and the walls were burnt to the ground.”
This was the 20th year they owned and operated the camp.
“We had a 40-gallon drum back there filled with syrup,” Joan said. “We were going to bottle it and make butter and cream on the weekend after the fire. That’s $50-a-gallon lost, and all the work and everything.”
She says there have been several fires in the same area in the recent months, including fires in Mapleton, Southampton, Lynn Mountain and Rodney.
The Browns' sugar camp wasn’t insured.
“To get the insurance you have to be able to get there with a fire truck, and certain times of the year you still can’t get back there with a four-wheel drive,” Joan said. “We use our tractor and four wheelers. You can never get back there with a fire truck.”
The government can’t help either.
“I don’t have enough trees to go through the government. You have to have 2,500 trees to go through the government,” Joan said. “I could tap 2,500 trees but I can’t handle 2,500 trees. It’s just Gordon and I and we’re both 74-years-old, but we do have a lot of help on the weekends.”
The fundraiser at the Springhill Fire Hall features a yard sale, a bake sale, a barbecue, and a silent auction with hundreds of items for sale.
The yard sale and bake sale runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the barbecue runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Please come out and help us raise some funds to help ease their minds and help my grandparents rebuild their sugar camp,” Tiffany Alick, the Brown’s granddaughter, said.