• Looking out at the lake

    Sleeping Bear Dunes

    National Lakeshore Michigan

Dechow Farm

Dechow House

Dechow House

Kerry Kelly 2006

Frederick and Fredericka Dechow purchased the farm and built a log cabin in 1857. Sons John and Charles built the barn around 1890. This farm has some of the best soil in Port Oneida which explains why it was one of the most productive farms. Grandson Fred built the new house about 1910 which was a showplace of modern style. A few years later, he was able to buy the neighboring farm from the Behrens just to the east of his original farm and add it to his land. The house and other buildings were removed, but the barn remains in the field to the east of the main Dechow buildings.

 
Dechow Farm

Dechow Farm

Kerry Kelly 2006

This farm is a good example of a working farm of the late 1940s with old structures adapted for new methods. The concrete silo and milking parlor indicate a commitment to dairy production. The large granary building and the small corn crib are typical for farms this far north. These farmers grew less corn because of the short growing season. A large chicken coop for raising fryers for market and another coop for a laying flock round out the barn yard buildings.

 
Dechow Barn and Milkhouse

Dechow Barn and Milkhouse

Kerry Kelly 2006

The Milkhouse was often built onto the barn. It was usually made from cement block or concrete to stay cooler. This is where the milk was filtered and stored in cans or a large refrigerated cooler. Having it attached to the barn made it more convenient for the farmer to carry the milk from the cows to the storage area especially in bad weather.
 
Dechow Barn and Silo

Dechow Barn and Silo

Kerry Kelly 2006

This view of the Dechow barn and silo from the fields shows a typical cement stave silo for storage of corn and hay silage which was used to feed the cattle during the winter.

 
Dechow Granary

Dechow Granary and Corn Crib

Kerry Kelly 2006

This is a typical granary and corn crib which also provides a shelter for a vehicle or machinery. Note the corn crib on the right which is a trapazoid and has open slots to allow air to flow through the corn cobs and help it to dry and prevent molding. The granary has two stories where wheat and oats were stored. The corn (often including the cobs) and oats or wheat were ground up together and stored in sacks to be fed to the cattle during the winter.
 
Dechow Chicken Coop

Dechow Chicken Coop

Kerry Kelly 2006

This is a relatively large chicken coop, where the Dechow family raised chickens for eggs and meat.
 
Sugar Shack

Dechow Sugar Shack

Kerry Kelly 2006

The Sugar Shack was used to boil down the maple sap into sweet maple syrup. The shack is located by the line of large maple trees north of the farm buildings. These were common in Port Oneida and were typically built near the maple trees in the woods around the farm fields.
 
Dechow Barn

Dechow Pasture Barn

Kerry Kelly 2006

This picture is taken from M-22 in front of the Dechow farm. It shows the pasture barn of the farm, which is located in the middle of a field to the east of the farm.

 
 
 

Did You Know?

Lake Michigan Beaches

Where can you find 35 miles of pristine Lake Michigan Beaches? Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore also includes North Manitou Island (20 miles of shoreline) and South Manitou Island (14 miles of shoreline). More...