Palace Chrysler-Jeep


A century of farming and counting

August 04, 2010 - Groveland Twp.-In November 1910, LC and Clara Scramlin purchased 121 acres near Jossman and Oakhill roads for a cost of $5,800. The parcel of property had been owned by area resident Charlie Knox.

"The farm could not have been too profitable," said grandson Marvin Scramlin who, along with his wife Terrie, still farm a 12-acre section of the property. "Grandma made regular trips to Pontiac and sold butter, milk and eggs to get by until the farm was paid for—it must have been a very rough life."

Plenty has changed since LC and Clara first tilled the soil and raised children in the farmhouse constructed in 1875. Diesel tractors replaced teams of horses, electricity is now in the home, and the original barn was destroyed by fire two years ago.

Despite the many changes to the area, the Scramlins still occupy the same location and farm—a fact that qualifies the township homestead to become a Centennial Farm.

Shannon White, assistant director of the Centennial Farms Program, said it's important that communities throughout the state recognize these historical farms.

"There's 6,000 farms across Michigan," she said. "Many are now inactive, however. About 4,200 are still active and meet the requirements, including that the property must be owned by the family for at least 100 years, is 10 or more acres, and is used for agricultural purposes."

Established in 1948 by the Michigan Historical Commission, the Centennial Farm Program was founded by Detroit Edison Company, Consumers Energy, local electrical cooperatives and farm groups. The program was transferred from the State of Michigan's Michigan Historical Commission to the Historical Society of Michigan in 2008.

"We don't have a requirement of the farm size, some are much smaller than originally—some are much larger, too," she said. "Many are in the thumb area. The program highlights the family farm's contributions to Michigan's development."

White added that the oldest farm in Michigan is the Westcroft (meaning West Farm) Gardens still owned and operated by the same family. It is the oldest by 20 years, founded on Grosse Ile, on July 6, 1776.

"My grandparents paid the farm off in about six years at 6 percent interest," said Scramlin. "It was not the clear fields it is today. A lot of the land had to be cleared and stumps pulled. It's no wonder so many people of the time died young."

Email Link
Clarkston Cleaning
SPI Subscriptions
The Oxford Leader
Site Search