Ice Caves No Longer Safe
The ice formations in Leelanau Township, north of the park, are no longer safe to visit. High winds have fractured the ice, moving it to the west. Huge cracks have formed in the cave arches, making them very unsafe and open water is now visible.
Martin Basch Farm
The Martin Basch Farm is located on Baker Road about 0.5 miles north of Kelderhouse Road. The shed and corncrib have recently been restored.
Kerry Kelly 2006
Martin Basch, a former German soldier and political prisoner, arrived on North Manitou Island with his wife in 1868. They left several children in Germany and had two children while on the island, Anna (or Ella) and Martin. Basch's brother, Nicholas, had already immigrated to the United States in 1859.
Martin and Nicholas (Claus) Basch and Carsten Miller were immigrants from Hanover, Germany who first settled on North Manitou Island and later farmed at Port Oneida. Martin Basch purchased this land from another German farmer, Martin Haft, a 110 acre parcel of land for $500 on 18 August 1883. At its largest, the Basch farm was a combination of several smaller homesteads - including those formerly owned by John Maitland, Ferndinad Pfluger, and Martin Haft - and which had been abandoned and later sold. Basch was a skilled blacksmith and worked for farmers in the vicinity of Port Oneida. He also was a carpenter, who helped to build farms and churches in Port Oneida, Good Harbor, and Arcadia.
Kerry Kelly 2006
Note the use of fieldstones in the foundation of the porch and pillars. This was a common practice in Port Oneida. The Baschs raised corn, beans, potatoes, and approximately 50 head of beef cattle on their 110 acre farm. Potatoes, the cash crop, were sold at Cedar, and surplus corn and wheat were marketed at Crystal River. The Baschs raised dairy cattle for their own use. At one time, they had about 300-400 turkeys. They stopped farming around 1969.
Did You Know?
The night sky is vital to many plants and animals that call Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore home and it holds a variety of meanings for many cultures. An unpolluted night sky is especially valuable to humans wishing to experience natural darkness, shooting stars, or the Milky Way.