Historic Preservation Society features Discovery Days a Poor Farm


From staff reports

Do you have any memorabilia about the Leelanau County Poor Farm? Share your memories with the Leelanau County Historic Preservation Society during two upcoming Discovery Days: Saturday, July 14, and Saturday, July 28, both events from 10 a.m. until noon at the Kasson Township Hall (10988 S. Newman Rd., near Maple City).

The Poor Farm is located west of Maple City on Burdickville Road, across from Myles Kimmerly Park. Between 1900 and 1960, this working farm housed up to 20 residents at a time who helped to operate the farm. In addition, the farm had a managing family living there and some hired help. This farm was referred to as the County Farm by the community.

This is valuable local history in the process of being preserving. The Historic Preservation Society is looking for any stories, photos or items from this farm which was referred to as the County Farm by the community. If you have stories and would consider sharing, please attend these Discovery Days. The Preservation Society hopes to scan and document these photos, take notes and/or audio record your recollections. This information then will be organized, catalogued, stored and made publicly available at the Leelanau Historical Society Museum as a part of the Leelanau County Poor Farm Collection. Leelanau County Historic Preservation Society is hosting this event in junction with Empire Area History Group and Leelanau Historical Museum.

The second Discovery Day will be held with the Coleman family, whose relatives George and Mabel (Ashmore) Coleman managed the farm from 1925 to 1960. These grandchildren have fond and detailed memories of their time spent every weekend at the farm. They look forward to sharing these stories and their family photographs that day.

These events have been partially funded by Michigan Humanities Council and National Humanities Endowment. Further information, or if are you unable to attend but still want to add your memories, please contact Barbara Siepker at 231-334-4395 or email Siepker (AT) aol (DOT) com.