Bay City in Matagorda County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Sugar Cane Mill
Sugar cane mills were used to make syrup from the sweet sorghum cane that grew extensively along Caney Creek in the late 1800's and early 1900's.
Once the cane was stripped, topped, and cut, it was hand-fed into one side of the mill. A series of rollers ground the cane and produced a steady stream of sugar cane juice out the other side. After straining the juice, it was put into a huge kettle, where it simmered for more than four hours.
Impurities in the juice floated to the top, were skimmed, and the mixture evaporated down into thick pure syrup. Eighty gallons of juice would produce approximately 8 gallons of syrup.
This mill, the "Victor No. 6", came from the Ashwood Plantation on Caney Creek. It was manufactured by L.M. Rumsey & Co. in St. Louis, Missouri around 1900 and could produce 170 gallons of juice per hour and up to 40 acres per season. Smaller mills such as this 1,850-pound one were usually horse or mule powered; later small tractors replaced the animals.
It belonged to the Charles Leroy family, who came to Ashwood and established a plantation on Caney Creek before 1910. Their granddaughter, Mae Smith, donated it to the Matagorda County Museum before her death in 2002.
Erected by Matagorda County Museum.
Location. Touch for map. Marker and subject sugar cane mill are located on the plaza, in front of the Matagorda County Museum (former U.S. Post Office), near the visitor information kiosk. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2100 Avenue F, Bay City TX 77414, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bay City Post Office (a few steps from this marker); Ira Ingram (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Bay City Bank (within shouting distance of this marker); Matagorda County (within shouting distance of this marker); Matagorda, C.S.A. (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Matagorda County (about 300 feet away); Matagorda County Confederate Memorial (about 400 feet away); Bay City Library (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bay City.
Categories. • Agriculture •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 10, 2018. This page originally submitted on June 7, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 55 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 7, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.