LONDONDERRY — There are a lot of sweet memories within these simple wooden walls. Decades of making maple syrup in a bubbling, steaming evaporator continues to give local maple lovers some homegrown sugary goodness.

That’s the legacy Hank Peterson left in this space; a strong love of the land and the process of bringing maple syrup to the public through simple means of sap collection, boiling and some scientific know-how tossed in.

Now, it’s Eric Turcotte’s turn to continue Peterson’s tradition on Peabody Row, following in the footsteps of those who came before, while offering his own personal spin on the process with updated machinery, hopes for the business and a big desire to keep the open space as green and productive as he can.

Turcotte will open the sugar house this weekend, March 18 to 19, for the state’s annual Maple Weekend observance, showing visitors how the sap is boiled and cared for to create just the right syrup.

Turcotte is set to make this land his own, but the former Peterson operation will remain a farm thanks to conservation protections in place — an agricultural gem in the community for people to come visit and learn about.

Turcotte owns his own tree service but he is also ensconced in the maple sugar production, learning and tending to his collected sap and boiling at just the right times when all conditions are right and ready.

After Peterson died in 2015, his widow Anne kept the maple operation going with the support of many who wanted to keep the legacy living on.

Now it’s Turcotte’s turn and he said having the support of those who knew the Petersons and all they did is valuable.

On one afternoon, Turcotte showed off his new evaporator, a big change from the aging machine that once created the syrup in this small wooden shed.

Turcotte has trees tapped all around the area, and the weather conditions have been good ones for making syrup.

“I started boiling about two to three weeks ago,” Turcotte said. “It’s been steady.”

It’s a lot of hard, hand work.

“But I’m very grateful for it,” Turcotte said.

While owning and operating his own business, Turcotte said the sugar process is like a hobby he wants to continue to learn more about.

“It’s just the pleasure of doing it and it’s mine,” he said.

He brings wood remnants of his tree service work to the sugar house to stack and use to fire up the evaporator on boiling days.

Turcotte also studies the science behind making syrup from the sugar content needed for specific grades of product right down to making sure temperature numbers are correct.

“I’m learning, there’s a lot to it,” he said.

There are still memories of Hank Peterson filling this space, built back in 1987.

Aging newspaper clippings on a bulletin board, a lineup of vintage metal sap collection buckets and piles of aging wooden tree taps that Turcotte said he loves having nearby.

He said he looks forward to Maple Weekend and expects a good crowd.

Turcotte said he meets many families that stop by to learn all about the process and he enjoys sharing what he knows.

“I love all the aspects of it,” he said.

For information on the upcoming Maple Weekend in New Hampshire, visit

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