July 16 • 06:54 PM

Mystery farm all in the family

This farm’s history reads like a road map.

September 01, 2010
That's right, the 'Name that Farm' feature has made it's way into my column this week because it's our farm. My husband, Tim and his brother, Andrew are the third generation to farm the 45 acres on Schultz Road in Berlin Twp. I must say I surprised myself that I actually recognized it, almost immediately, while flipping through the latest batch of photos that Shelley Henshaw dropped off. Then again, I've spent countless hours staring at that barn while holding a wrench.

The history of the place reads like a road map. Tim's grandparents, Aubrey and Margaret Brown purchased the plot from sisters Mabel Terry and Grace Cameron in 1964. It had been the home of Mabel and Grace's parents, the Sharrards. Sharrard Road is north of Schultz, Terry is one road south and Cameron runs south off of Dryden Road.

This photo was taken before Grandma and Grandpa and their kids arrived. Tim's dad, Tim, says some of the outbuildings seen in the photo weren't standing when they moved in. There was no running water at the time and no one has dared to guess when the house and barns were even built. All we know is that they're old…really old. Andrew lives in the house now. For Tim, the barns and field are his second home.

Just like most of the 'Name that Farm' stories we've had in the paper so far, there are countless stories behind the stories of this farm too that time and deadlines prevent us from delving into.

Just like the others, the elements took their toll on the outbuildings. Today all that's still standing is the large barn and pump house. Like the others, it was home to a smattering of animals, although cattle was and still is the mainstay. It too was a great place to grow up. Like all the other former kids who've been shaped by a childhood on the farm, Tim and Andrew are no different. It was their second home. Not a lot of things brought Grandma Brown much joy but she never let anyone forget her grandsons were never so happy as when in her kitchen eating homemade fried chicken and apple pie.

It is a bit bittersweet that this photo made it into the paper when it did. On Saturday night, Grandpa Brown passed away at the age of 91. Before he went into a nursing home more than five years ago, he didn't have a desire to be anywhere else but home. After hearing and writing about others who found such contentment on the farm, I guess I can't blame him.

Email Maria at

Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she now resides north of Capac where she enjoys working on the farm, gardening and reading.
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