National Maple Syrup Day | Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup
Located right off of Route 66 in Shirley, Illinois, you’ll find Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup — a sweet, historic gem that remains a favorite stop among Route 66 travelers to this day.
The historic maple trees were originally tapped by Native Americans long before the Funk family called this area home. They used maple sugar to season their corn and other vegetables and poured maple sirup over their fish and meat. In 1824, the Funk family settled into the Funks Grove Neighborhood and started their sirup journey. It all began when Isaac Funk, a friend of Abraham Lincoln, decided to settle in what is now known as Funks Grove and raised livestock. Isaac and his sons tapped the maple trees to make maple sirup and sugar for their own personal use as it was their only source of sweetener.
In the 1920s, Hazel Funk took over the family business. In her will, Hazel arranged for her timber and farmland to be protected by a trust that ensures that future generations will continue to enjoy the “sweet stuff” produced in Funks Grove. In this same trust, Hazel expressed her wish for the spelling of “sirup” with an “i”—a spelling that was at that time preferred by Webster’s when referring to the product that results from the boiling down of sap, without the addition of extra sugar. In her honor, this spelling has been retained by the maple sirup producers of Funks Grove.
Today, Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup is a 7-generation family tradition that continues to grow! They currently draw sap from about 6,000 taps, including 3,500 tubing taps, and produce an average of 2,000 gallons of sirup each season! If you have a chance to visit during their production season, be sure to wander the grounds and see just how the famous sirup is made. Along with the sirup, you can find maple ice cream, candies, pancake and bread mixes, Route 66 memorabilia and more at their store that is open a variety of times throughout the year!
The Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup Shop will be open Saturday, December 19th from 12pm – 4pm! They will be selling maple cream, maple candies, bourbon barrel-aged sirup — a collaboration with Whiskey Acres, maple sugar and so much more!