Plantation workers began the harvesting season by cutting down the sugarcane plant with cane knives. They were cut off at the ground because the lower portions of the plant contained the richest sugar. Once the sugarcane was cut, it was sent to a sugar house. The sugar house would press the sugarcane to remove the juice, which can be refined to make sugar or the byproduct molasses.
Did you know? The Imperial Sugar Company is the oldest extant business in Texas. Since 1843 it has continuously operated on the same site and produced the same products, refined sugar and blackstrap molasses.