Nacogdoches hosts annual sugarcane event

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE)- Stop and think back to a time before machines, a time where labor by hand or mule was your only option.

The second annual Sugarcane event in Nacogdoches gave visitors a glimpse into the past.

"It just brings back the old times that people used to have to, have to do this for a living," said Jay Smith, who demonstrated how cane syrup was made.

Sugarcane was a staple in East Texas back in the 1800s and early 1900s.

"They used to make syrup and they'd trade it like money," said Smith.

"Sugarcane was one of the reasons why Sam Houston came here," explained Historic Sites Manager for the city of Nacogdoches Brian Bray.

The plot located at the Durst Taylor Historic House and Gardens produced ten gallons of ribbon cane juice which was then cooked down into ribbon cane syrup.

"You watch it until it kind of turns a golden color and the bubbles start breaking right," said Smith.

The homemade syrup brings back fond memories for visitors.

"It reminds me an awful lot about the stuff my grandparents used to make or bring home," said Jay Knott.

Also hard at work, a blacksmith demonstrated a lost art form.

"The things that we take for granted today were so hard to do," said Jim Ott.

"Blacksmith shops were an integral part of any village. They were also dentists," explained Ott.

"Dentists weren't as sophisticated as they are today, the just basically pulled teeth."

The good old days are long gone, but the stories of those who lived them continue to be told.

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