According to local legend (mostly my dad), John Schober ran away from home as a young boy. My dad told the story that John had gotten into some kind of trouble in his native Austria. He was born around the turn of the century.
As the story was told, the trouble John got into, was connected to a rifle. Whatever he did, it resulted in a severe punishment that caused him to run away from home. Ultimately, he stowed away on board a ship headed to America. Being only a boy of ten or twelve, he had no money to pay for passage.
That would have been about 10-15 years prior to the outbreak of WWI. There was a lot of political nervousness in the Austrian Empire. And it would have been in the middle of huge migrations of Europeans to the US. But a boy of ten or twelve surly would not have migrated alone.
Dad purchased his first parcel in “Lake George Woods,” as early as 1949. Two parcels were purchased on December 16, 1949. One of those two parcels Was purchased from Schober. It is on this 20-acre parcel that I have set up the apiary (a bee yard where hives are kept).
John was in the woods at that time, and remained there until a few years before he died in 1982, at the reported age of 88. How he ended up in Lake George Township, I have never learned.
Prior to living in The Woods, John and his family lived on a farm on the West side of George Lake. Whether he owned and operated the farm is unclear. Today there is little evidence of a farm having ever been there. John would hire out to neighbors in the community doing odd labor jobs.
When John’s wife died in childbirth with their third child, he was ill equipped to care for three young children. With no social services available in those days, these kids were raised by a family in a nearby town. It is probably about that time when John moved across the George Lake into The Woods.
With no running water, and no electricity, John was off the grid. He did drive, and made occasional trips into town to get basic needs. He did not hesitate to take a squirrel, raccoon, fish, or whatever he needed to survive.
We pastured some of our livestock in these woods from late May through mid-October. John would walk the fences to make sure that any breaks in the fence did not result in animals wandering off.
On Sunday evenings, it was not uncommon for Dad to pick up few groceries and a six-pack of Hamms Beer, and visit John at his shack. We kids would often accompany dad, and while they visited, we would explore.
You are probably wondering about now, how I will connect the dots between Maple Syrup, keeping bees, and the store.
John kept a large garden to meet his needs. The garden was right next to the Sugar Bush (where sap is collected). In addition, he kept bees. It was fascinating to watch the bees coming and going. And as mentioned earlier, the apiary we are working, is on a parcel my dad purchased from John. ... See MoreSee Less
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It features a metal base, 1 1/2” thick top and a live edge. It is stained with Dark Danish Oil, and finished in low sheen. The Dark Danish Oil highlights the natural beauty- as well as its natural characteristics.
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