Preservationists to host egg hunt, pancake breakfast featuring Black Jack maple syrup

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Black Jack Battlefield and Nature Park board members will flip pancakes Saturday and serve them in a stack slathered in syrup rendered from the historic site’s maple grove.

Near the battlefield where Free State and proslavery men fought in 1856, towering trees produce maple syrup.

In 1890, Robert Hall Pearson built a home there. After fighting alongside abolitionist John Brown at Black Jack, Pearson “carved out a prosperous farm from the prairie, where he raised crops and livestock,” said Emery Compton, assistant director of marketing, in an email.

“He also planted maple trees; it is believed that this is the only site in Kansas where maple sugar was produced at the time.”

The community is invited to celebrate and sample the historic syrup during the benefit-breakfast. And they’ll have an opportunity to take some home.

Contributed/Black Jack Battlefield and Nature Park These evaporators were used to process maple syrup and sugar on the Pearson farm at Black Jack Battlefield and Nature Park.

After the meal, children are invited to search for candy-filled eggs hidden around the Pearson farmhouse and on the battlefield’s prairie. An Easter basket raffle also will be held.

The activities will provide an opportunity to learn about the historic battlefield site, its park and their preservation efforts.

“Please come out and bring life back to Black Jack,” a news release read.

Flapjacks at Black Jack’s runs from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 16. Suggested donation is $10 for those 14 and older. Children 13 and younger eat for free.

At 12:15 p.m., the egg hunt begins. The events take place 3 miles east of Baldwin City at the battlefield and nature area, 163 E. 2000 Road at Wellsville (map below).

Eight-ounce and 12-ounce glass bottles of the golden, sticky liquid will be available for members of Black Jack Battlefield and Nature Park. Membership benefits, including an 8-ounce bottle of syrup and quarterly newsletter, are available to individuals starting at $40. More information can be found below or on Black Jack’s Facebook event page.

Contributed/Black Jack Battlefield and Nature Park Listed are membership levels for Black Jack Battlefield and Nature Park, which include the opportunity to purchase maple syrup from the historic site’s maple grove.
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Tricia Masenthin (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at tmasenthin (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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