Bisson Sugar House

When Muriel and Lucien Blais’ grandchildren come to visit they always request the same thing for breakfast: blueberry pancakes with Papa’s syrup.

Lucien and Muriel Blais

The Blais have been sugaring — that is, making maple syrup — for three generations. Muriel’s great uncle Lazarre Bisson started tapping sugar maple trees in the ’20s with his nephew Armand Bisson and the Bisson Sugar House was born. That was back in the day of hand cranked drills and metal buckets.

Lucien and Muriel Blais

Lucien and Muriel Blais when they first started making syrup

Sugaring season starts around March and April when the weather turns warm during the day but still freezes over night. “Warm” in the north country is around 40 degrees. On average, it takes 40 to 50 gallons of sap to make just one gallon of syrup.

Little at Bisson’s Sugar House has physically changed since Lazarre and Armand first started. There are still the same benches, same sign, same wood-burning stove, same smell of split birch logs and sap. Sure, technology has advanced — Muriel and Lucien no longer collect sap in buckets, but use a system of plastic tubing to tap the trees — but for Berliners, Bisson’s remains a fixture in the community.

And the syrup, well, let’s just say that I have been eating a lot of pancakes lately.


Previous post:

3 Responses to “Bisson Sugar House”

To preserve the StoryCorps mission and experience for our readers and participants, comments are subject to the StoryCorps Terms of Service. Comments may be held for moderation or removed if deemed offensive or off-topic. Please do not resubmit your comment if you don't see it right away, it will be approved as soon as possible. Thank you.

  • This totally tempts me to find this place. Yum!

    Comment from Fran on June 24, 2009 at 8:29 pm - Reply to this Comment
  • It sounds and looks delicious! Are you bringing some of that syrup back to Brooklyn?

    Comment from Chaela on June 24, 2009 at 7:53 pm - Reply to this Comment
  • yum! I am on a Blais sugar high!

    Comment from Anna on June 24, 2009 at 2:58 pm - Reply to this Comment

Leave a Reply


  • Major Funding Provided By

    CPB Logo
  • National Broadcast Sponsors

    CTCA Logo
  • National Partners

    NPR American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress
  • Charity Navigator Logo