This letter is in response to Vince Eaton’s Letter to the Editor (August 30th): It was titled: Land barons destroy Farwell farm.
Hi Vince, I am the 80 year old Land Baron to whom you referred to in a recent letter to the editor. My grandparents settled up here at the turn of the last century, logged over on Clear Lake, owned a small bit of Bear Lake. I began coming up here when I was four months old. I love it here as did my husband, as do my children and my grandchildren.
Your recent article in the Clare paper was “interesting” though truly not accurate.
My husband and I bought the farm (though far less acreage than 3500) from the Littlefield’s in about 1977 along with two other couples. After about 6 years those couples sold their interest to us.
One of our greatest delights upon arrival was to spot the big red barn. Our children had a game to see who could spot it first – winner always feeling especially proud and happy. You have NO idea how devastated we were when we arrived to find a northerly storm had blown much of it down. The damage was too extensive for us to have it repaired though we tried. Even having the remainder taken down was costly as we had four children to put through college at the time.
We worked hard to maintain the buildings. With the original 13 buildings, just keeping them painted was extremely costly, let alone keeping up with repairs. We did receive some bad advice in regard to the well house, but we have the ice house which is in extremely good condition as is the original stone farm house. We did in fact have problems with the white house and it wasn’t being used – you’re right, it no longer exists. We still have 8 buildings, including the red horse barn and several others to maintain – not easy – but something we work hard at – my son never stops!
My husband loved fruit trees. We have all of the old trees except those taken by nature (two years ago we had such a bumper crop that 2 trees came down because of the weight of the apples and we lost those). However, we have many more that my husband planted – more than double what we had in the old days. When the apples ripen, we tell “all” our neighbors to come pick as much as they want. We don’t want them to go to waste.
We remained friends with Hazel Littlefield all her life. As a matter of fact, our son and his wife bought Hazel’s home next door.
We have wonderful neighbors on the lake who care as much about the lake and it’s maintenance as you do about the farm and as we do about both. They work very hard to keep it was you would remember it.
WE ALL WORK TO PRESERVE – NOT DESTROY!!