the historic Schroeder farm, aka: Sycamore Hill
So let me tell you about this awesome place in the country we plan to move to.
The farm is in North Township, Republicania County. It is on Michigan Road lands, but nestled far back off the road even though the original farm fronted the old Michigan Road. Robert Schroeder came to the county in 1833, one of the first white men in the area, to construct the Michigan Road. He built the first saw mill, married and had the second white child born in the new county established in 1836.
Schroeder's first connection with the farm is traced to tax records in 1843, although it is possible he resided on the ground earlier. He and his brother went to California to mine for gold in the early 1850's, then returned to the area in 1857. Some records indicate he didn't move back onto the farm until about 1867. Schroeder was a Republican (the good kind), holding township and county offices and almost being elected State Representative. He was both lawyer and preacher (that's an odd combination) and died in the house. Oh boy.
The house appears to date to between 1850-1860, give or take a few years. The house sits up a hill from the county road which doesn't appear on atlases until after 1900. It has a creek flowing in front of it surrounded by woods. Several massive ash trees surround the property and a row of red cedars that appear to be at least 100 years old line the drive in front of the house. The house is what they call an "I-House" that was detailed in the Greek Revival style. We plan to restore the exterior, exposing the wood trim and painting the body of it red, of course.
A great old bank barn dating to 1865 is behind the house and is in excellent shape begging for some down-home fun. There's also a chicken coop (the kids are claiming it for a bunk house) and a privy in the side yard. 8 1/2 acres offer plenty of room for gardens, orchards and vineyards. We have an opportunity to secure another 5 acres as well. We couldn't be more excited, even though it means we're "downsizing" by 25%! The farm has been in the owner's family for over 150 years and we've assured her that it is passing into good hands.