Jim and Dora Tice, Mainesburg, Tioga County

Owned by: Jim and Dora Tice

After Jim Tice returned from serving his country in Vietnam in 1967, he bought a jug of locally-produced maple syrup to take home to his wife, Dora.  It wasn’t the flavor he remembered from his youth when his family had made syrup on a small scale for their own personal use. In fact, it was terrible.

Jim and Dora started tapping their own trees the following spring, hauling the sap to the home of Jim’s sister, where they boiled it down on an outdoor gas stove in a flat, metal pan.

As time went on and their volume increased, they were harvesting more sap than could be boiled with their small operation.

They then started taking their sap to the home of Lawrence Roloson, known throughout the area as “the Grandfather of Maple” due to the vast number of local producers he mentored as they made their start in the industry.

The Tice maple operation began with traditional metal spiles, buckets and supplies, but the process has since been modernized, and plastic tubing is now used.

In 1978, Jim and Dora built their own sap house and it is filled with newer, more efficient equipment.  Tradition blends with modern with a wood-fired boiling operation and a steam away evaporator to create high quality Maple Products that can be enjoyed by the entire family for sale to the public.

Jim and Dora own 58 acres in southern Tioga County, near the town of Mainesburg. Much of the land, however, does not have maple growing on it, and instead supports a herd of beef cattle.  Despite this, they tap approximately 400 trees on their own land, and an additional 3000 on the land of their neighbors. They trade the harvested sap for syrup, baked goods and other maple products made by Jim and Dora.

The Tice’s produce syrup, candy, cream, crumb sugar, cotton candy, and on Maple Weekend to show that maple syrup can be used in many ways, they also provide maple cookies, ice cream with peanut butter-maple topping, maple-coated popcorn, and the ever-popular hot dogs boiled in maple syrup.

Jim and Dora are kind, friendly and hard-working, as is evidenced by the nearly thirty-five years of successful operation they have under their belts.

Dora said, “The first year we made our own syrup, I needed something more tangible for my efforts, instead of just putting all the money back in the business, so we bought a dishwasher.”

Dora and Jim have long entered the PA Farm Show, entering every category for which they create a product.  That first year, they only placed in one competition—Other Candy—but they have since perfected their technique and they now consistently place for products across the board.

In addition to participating in the Potter/Tioga Maple Producers’ annual Maple Weekend, Jim and Dora also attend craft shows, and in Mansfield they participate in the annual Fourth of July and the Fabulous 1890’s Weekend celebration. The festival commemorates the first night time football game held at Mansfield University’s Smythe Park in September of 1892.

The Tice’s have also participated in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), which encourages landowners of marginal cropland, pastureland and land along non-forested streams to plant native plant species and participate in other conservation measures.

Jim and Dora Tice’s Farm is located at 427 Tice Road in Mainesburg. Follow Route 6 East of Mansfield for 8.5 miles. After Route 6 Mile Marker 242, turn right onto Tice Road and continue 1.5 miles till you reach the Tice Maple Farm.

For more information, contact Jim and Dora Tice at (570) 549-5257 or ticejd@npacc.net.