Quick Reference

Time Period:
Painted circa 1920

Buckland-Shelburne Falls Road

Oil on Canvas


Sugaring, Keach Farm

24 X 36


J. H. Miller Co.



"One of my very early canvases... A later canvas of Harrison Keach's sugar house I see was given the same title (owned by the E. H. Naylor children) so I have added the #1 and #2 to the titles."RSW

Related Links

Featured Artwork: Early Sugaring #1

RSW's Diary Comments

Steaming Sugar House, 1929
The Keach's sugaring house.

"Painted circa 1920. One of my very early canvases. Among a lot bought by J. H. Miller Co. of Springfield, it was bought from them around 1935-36 and now owned by F. Earl Williams, at present (1944) principal of the High School at Gardner (19 Cherry Street). A sugar maple in woodland on a rocky knoll painted at 'Uncle' Will Wells's sugar house on the Buckland - S.F. road. A later canvas of Harrison Keach's sugar house I see was given the same title (owned by the E. H. Naylor children) so I have added the #1 and #2 to the titles."


Woodward's diary comments conflict with the images we have for the two Early Sugaring paintings. Although both pictures appear to be identical, with the exception of their differing aspect ratios, there are differences found in the small details of things like the trunk of the sugar mable, one of the gathering buckets is missing a detail and the woodpile logs vary to certain degrees. However, in one diary comment RSW writes that this scene is of his uncle Will Well's sugaring house (1920 - #1) and the other being that of Harrison Keach's sugaring house (1928 - #2).

We are left with a number of questions:
  Did Woodward make an error? It is clear the Keach landscape does not match the others.
  Is there a third painting, one of which is a different scene?
  Are we incorrect? Is what we believe to be Early Sugaring #1, not right? #2 is confirmed and right.

We do not have any answers at the moment. Woodward did make mistakes in his painting diary which he didn't begin compiling until the early 1940s. Yet still, he did not make mistakes like this. He rarely mistook locations, especially one of which is family. For now we will leave things as they are until we can confirm or eliminate the available options. There is one thing for certain, there are three paintings, two of which are named Early Sugaring and the third remains unknown.

Additional Notes

This painting (#1) is distinctly different from that of Early Sugaring #2 in that its aspect ratio is more rectangular, a 1.4 ratio, than the 27" x 30" second painting which has a ratio of 1.1, making Early Sugaring #1 more panoramic. A perfect square aspect ratio is 1.0.


An old Weldon Hotel postcard.

RSW notes relating to Early Sugaring #2:

"The Naylor children family own a 27 x 30 sugaring picture (same subject as the one owned by the Weldon Hotel, Greenfield), bought by their father before he died. It can be located through Miss Mary F. Grant, at 20 Ridgewood Place, Springfield, Mass; who lives with the children's grandmother, Mrs. Caldwell, or through their mother, now Mrs. Stimson, of 1120 Beacon St., Brookline, Mass."

Early Sugaring #2 hanging in the Weldon Hotel
Early Sugaring #2 on display over the fireplace
in the Weldon Hotel in Greenfield, Mass.

It is curious to us how the Naylor painting, once owned by the Weldon Hotel, got its name. Not to mention why it wasn't named by Woodward himself? It is rare to find paintings without names unless they are also unsigned or were given as gifts. There is also the possibility that the painting never exhibited and Woodward sold it right from his studio without a name, even rarer.

We do not know when the Weldon Hotel in Greenfield was no longer a hotel or how it came to be that Emmett Naylor came to own it.