History of Century Maple Sugarmaking

Gemmill Family

Maple syrup has been made on both sides of the Gemmill/Paul/Wilson family for over 100 years.
The Gemmill family of Snow Road, purchased the first building (a blacksmiths shop) and turned it into a sugarcamp in 1909 where David and Marion Gemmill began making maple syrup. Eldred Gemmill, was the oldest son of David and Marion Gemmill. He made syrup with the family, and then continued making syrup on his own farm on Eldreds Road. The farm at Eldreds Road is the current homestead farm of the 2nd and 3rd generation of sugarmakers on the Gemmill side of the family. Thelma Paul, daughter of Eldred Gemmill, made maple syrup with her father, and then continued to make maple syrup with her husband Delmer Paul. Erwin Paul and Beth Paul represent the 4th and 5th generation of sugarmakers on the Gemmill side of the family and continue to live on the homestead farm. The old Gemmill sugarcamp remains on the property at Eldreds Road, McDonalds Corners. A large majority of the maple trees are on the Gemmill Homestead Farm.

The Old Gemmill Sugar Camp

Paul/Wilson Family

The Paul side of the family dates back to roughly the same time when Melville Paul married Leolla Wilson. Their oldest son, Alvin Paul is 94 years old, and syrup was being made before they were married. Delmer Paul, the youngest son of Melville and Leolla Paul, was farming full time by the age of 13, and took over the family homestead farm on Lavant Mill Road at the age of 21, when Melville died. There is a long history of making syrup on the Paul side of the family going back approximately 100 years. Leolla Wilson hailed from the same area, and her family also made maple syrup dating back to the early 1900’s. The remnants of one of the first “evaporators” remains on the homestead at Lavant Mill Road.

The tradition was continued with Delmer Paul and Thelma Paul, on their own farm, beginning in 1964. At this time, the original sugarcamp from the Homestead at Lavant Mill Road, was moved to the 2nd Concession, North Sherbrooke – where it remains today. It was used up until 1982, when Delmer Paul built a new sugarcamp, with electricity and more space.

Erwin Paul, the son of Delmer and Thelma Paul, was always involved in the family farm from a young age. Over the last 5 years, Erwin Paul has gradually taken over the business, and has just completed a renovation of the sugarcamp, and purchased a new, state of the art wood fired evaporator. This will allow the family to make syrup for many years to come.

When Erwin Paul and his family were continuing the tradition of making maple syrup, it became clear that some form of brand was needed. All the “Paul” names were taken in our area, so it was determined that “Century Maple” would be a good fit. It represents the long tradition and history of syrup being made on three sides of the family, for over 100 years in the local area of Lanark Highlands.

The Youngest Sugarmaker

The youngest surgarmaker is Beth Paul – who has grown up in the sugarcamp with Mom and Dad, and Grandma and Grandpa, learning the art of sugarmaking. Beth is 8 years old, taps trees, fixes pipeline, and fills syrup in the sugarcamp. A true 5th generation little sugarmaker!

Syrup continues to be made by Delmer and Erwin Paul (Father and Son), under the banner of Century Maple.

The current sugarcamp is located on Delmer Paul’s farm at 911, 2nd Concession North Sherbrooke.