Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis
All the children in the fort were ready on that day when our fathers told us the work might begin, and al-though we had neither heard nor seen anything of the Indians for many a day, four of the hunters went out to stand guard while the boys made deep wounds in the trees with axes.
Then, while the men put up a half-faced camp, we girls carried the troughs to the trees that had been tapped and watched with eager eyes as the sap oozed out drop by drop, but yet so rapidly as to give promise of a good yield.
Perhaps there are some who do not know what a "half-faced"camp is like. A big tree was cut down, and the branches trimmed off for a length of eight or ten feet from the butt. This, as it lay on the ground, served for the back side. Ten feet in front, and ten feet apart, two double sets of -stakes were stuck in the ground for the four corners. Between the double stakes were laid poles extending from one corner to an-other. At each side more poles were placed from the front to the rear, a few inches apart, after the fashion of latticework,
Across the top for a roof poles were laid, between which we girls wove branches of trees until the whole would serve fairly well as a shelter against wind and rain. The front part was left open, which, I suppose, is the reason why it is called half-faced, and here a fire was built for boiling the sap.
Colonel Callaway brought with him his horse; father made of tree tops what would serve as a sled, and on it we hauled the troughs to the camp as fast as they were partly filled.
Then came the boiling down, which was continued far into the night by the men and boys, for we girls were obliged to be inside the fort before sunset; but when the sap had thickened to a sirup, we made spice-wood tea from half-opened buds, whitened it with milk, and sweetened the mixture until none but those who were half-starved for something sweet could have drunk it.
What sport we had! And how sticky we all were until the sugar making came to an end, and the fruits of our labor had been stored in one of the watch-houses that we might have molasses or sugar during the rest of the year.
When the snow had entirely melted from the ground, father went to work once more on our plantation, and Billy's portion of the labor was to maul rails until he had enough with which to fence off a pasture for the live stock.