Our farm has been here long before us, and will be here long after. We know we are just the current stewards of this land. We took the chance during the winter months to look into some of the history of the farm and learn a little about the people who have come before us and their stories.
It was first Purchased on January 29th 1872 form the United States of America in two separate 80 acre parcels.
A home on Doerr Rd.
For a time the property changed hands and was owned by different logging and railroad companies until a group of German immigrants chose to move to the Mancelona area. The group included Aaron Grody Sr. ,born in Canada, soon after marrying Faney (Fronkia) Lichty in Stratford, Ontario in 1878 they moved to Mancelona with a group of family and friends from Canada and Germany. The group purchased much of the land in this area. It was known as Walnut Corners, and articles about the happenings can be found later on in the old local paper.
Aaron Grody Sr. and Family
Wendell Grody- Aaron Grody Sr. brother purchased the back 80 acres of our property with his wife Mary Grody August 21, 1882. They had 4 children in total, one girl and the last three were all stillborn and as it is said the babies were all buried under a chestnut tree on the property. Shortly after the last birth they sold the property on August 29th 1887 and moved to Bellaire, MI.
Daniel Stahle married Leah Grody, Aaron's sister moved with the group to Mancelona and was the mason and barn builder for the group. He helped build our large barn. We do not have a specific build date for it but Daniel passed in 1903, it had to be built before his passing. It is a traditional barn, livestock in the basement which keeps them cool in the summer months and warmer in the winter. Straw, and hay stored in the upper barn with shoots to drop bales to the lower part of the barn with ease. They are a little dark without lights and can be damp during the spring and fall so it does have its downsides. But there is just something about old barns.
John Grody and Daniel Stahle
Conrad and Martha Scholl owned both portions of our property at different times. The back 80 starting December 28th, 1907 and then the front portion separately being purchased December 29th 1916. Their families immigrated together when Martha was 13 and 7 years later they were married.
The Scholl Family
Aaron Grody Jr. purchased the front 80 acres on March 11th, 1918 and was married to Martha (Makel) Grody. They soon divorced and sold the property.
Dan Makel and Aaron Grody Jr.
Dan Makel purchased the back 80 acres with Conrad and Martha Scholl for the first time December 28th, 1907 and then later returned to the area and then May 16th 1919 purchased the front 80 acres and on November 26th 1919 with his wife Dina purchased the back 80 acres again and combined the property into the 160 acre farm that it is to this day.
Farm House in 1937
Land has history, in a way it silently remembers and watches. It has been here long before us and will continue to be here long after us. In a way we dont own it. We are just the current chapter for this farm.
We started our chapter with the name Danu Hof. Our families heritage is Irish and Scottish- Danu is the Celtic mother goddess and Goddess of Farming. Hof- is German and simply means farm, but if you continue to trace the word origin it is Ancient Norse and not only means farm but it was specifically the community farm. the farm for everyone. We wanted to honor our heritage as well as the heritage of those who have come to this farm before us.
The McSweeney-Steffes Family