We have been in the process of discovering the history of our farm. It was originally purchased in two 80 acre parcels form the United States in January, 1872 by a Mr. Charles B. Van Dyne. Then around 1878 a group of German immigrants, immigrating through Canada moved to the Mancelona area and in1882 Wendell Grody, who was part of the group, purchased the back 80 acres of our property with his wife Mary. At the time this area was known as Walnut Corners. Wendell and his wife did not stay long, they faced many hardships including the loss of three stillborn infants, who are believed to all be buried on the property under a chestnut tree. After the loss of their last child they sold the property in 1887 and moved on.
The Grody family stayed in the area and in April 1914 Aaron
Grody Jr., Wendell Gordy’s nephew, and his wife Martha purchased the front 80 acres. They sold it in 1916 but purchased the property back in 1918. Aaron Grody’s brother-in-law Daniel Makel and his wife Dina purchased the back 80 acres in 1919 and then purchased the front 80 acres later that year and for the first time combined the two plots of land since it was first purchased from the United States in 1872. It has remained the 160 acres ever since. Which is just short of a miracle. Our farm is officially100 years old this year. Actually this month.
This is just a small blip in the amount of information that we have learned about our farm and the people who have come before us. Parts of our home and barn have been on the property prior to 1900. There is so much information and it is such a treat to look through it all and discover the information and pictures.
We will continue to share because the history is just as important as the future. To know all of those who put their blood, sweat and tears into this land before us.