Maple syrup has been around the Jorns family since 1857 when Grandfather Ferndinand Jorns arrived in Door County from Germany. But the production of Maple Syrup dates back to the Native Americans. They would gauge the side of the tree with a stone ax and insert a spout made from just a piece of park, collecting the sap in buckets made from birch bark. For the Native Americans it was a source of energy and nutrition, that they commonly used as a special drink or in cooking.
This method has been refined over the past 200 years and I’d say it’s safe to say the Jorns family has maple syrup production down to a tee.
Grandfather Ferndinand Jorns was a shipbuilder which must have sparked his interest in sailing, as he sailed all the way to the peninsula of Door County! It took a couple of times for him to reach success in Door County. After living in Baileys Harbor for a couple of years, he moved to Chicago, before returning to Egg Harbor. He married Dora Dow, also from Germany, and raised 12 kids. But the sea was still calling him! He ended up sailing around the world again, but upon arriving back to Door County he was beaten and his cargo was stolen by a local mob. He died the following Spring of 1896 at age 53. The Door County Advocate in 1895 stated that he was known as one of the best and industrious men in the county.
His son, Ferdinand Jr. was very young when his father passed, but he ended up marrying and taking over the farm. They had 6 children, one of them being Roland Jorns, who is still running the farm and shop with the help of his wife, Donna, and two of their children. As a teenager, Roland was just thrown into the business and was taking on a lot of responsibility at a young age! Little did he know that he would later serve as president of the National Maple Syrup Association and would be a participant on an international council.
Photo creds: roadtips.typepad.com
Info: Door County Pulse, Door County Today