Southern Matters

Southern Matters

Ronny Herring (Ochlocknee, Georgia)

I was not driving aimlessly through the South Georgia countryside early one Sunday morning when I happened onto Mr. Ronny Herring at his syrup factory (Slide 1), where he produces his “Old South” brand “Kettle Cooked Pure Georgia Cane Syrup.” It would be hard to find a nicer fellow, better syrup, or a more authentic operation, give or take a little stainless and plastic.

A Golden No.2x (Slide 2) stands watch over the operation, greets customers, but is otherwise in retirement. The view of this Golden No.2x mill is similar to the view of the Golden No.2 posted at my grandfather’s page. These similar views permit one to appreciate the longer rollers on this mill.


A 1916 7-hp Hercules engine (Slide 3) drives Mr. Herring’s Golden No.27 (Slides 4 and 5). I admit to being surprised to see such an old engine actually doing a job.


The origin of the juice tanks is straightforward. (Slide 6). Slide 7, shows the inside of the factory, with three kettles arranged around the center. Note the permanent outside rim, as seen at several other locations. Another rim is suspended above each kettle. I hope this photograph conveys the aura of the 1920s, as being there certainly did. Slide 8, shows the juice distribution system, which runs to each kettle.

Slide 9, shows four gas burners under a kettle. The burners are arranged in an H-pattern, with each burner being on a 4-inch-galvanized branch from the galvanized trunk line. The distance between the points at which the branches insert is 10 inches. The branches turn up by use of a ½ x 3/8 Street-L, which is capped. The cap has a small hole for the gas to escape, and a chimney surrounds each gas orifice.