The Maxon family’s tradition of sugar-making in New York dates back two centuries. Our six-generation family farm has been operating since the early 1800s, not long after Joel and Lucretia Maxon settled on these maple woods along the Tonawanda Creek in what is now the town of Bennington. In 1842 their grandson Wellington took over the operation of the farm, while his sister Clara and her husband bought adjacent land. Wellington’s grandson, Howard, bought that land from Clara’s family, and there he and his wife, Marian Erhardt, built a family home using lumber from the woods. There they raised their three daughters—Helen, Arlene and Carolyn, the Maxon sisters—in a homestead that looks out over the maple woods.
Although the farm was still primarily a dairy farm, maple was the first crop of the year. As little girls,Helen, Arlene and Carolyn enjoyed helping to collect buckets of sap from the trees in spring, as the smell of warm syrup wafted down from the sugar house. Sadly, Howard died while the girls were still young, and for some years, all farming except dairy came to a halt. But when they grew up, the sisters decided to continue the family tradition. Helen (Thomas) and Arlene (Brandon) both built houses on the property, and still live there today, while Carolyn (Czarnecki) lives an hour away in Rush, NY.
In 2008 the three sisters took the operation to the next level, creating their LLC, Maxon Estate Farms, in honor of their father Howard and the family legacy of farming. Today the sisters continue to maintain the maple woods, harvesting the sap, producing maple products, and bottling award-winning, certified organic maple syrup.