Some restrooms and trash cans not available until Memorial Day
Changes to visitor service due to Sequestration. Other than those at the visitor center and campgrounds, restrooms and trash cans will not be available until Memorial Day Weekend and will close after Labor Day. This includes the Manitou Islands. More »
The Schmidt Farm is located on a hill on the east side of Basch Road. The buildings overlook an open field and orchard.
Forty acres of this property were first settled in 1861 by a German immigrant named George Hessell, who arrived in the United States from Hanover, Germany in the late 1850s or early 1860s. By 1880, he had sold the land to George and Flora Schmidt, who were from Prussia. They built the farm, which was devoted to general agriculture, cultivating a vineyard, and raising cattle. Some traces of their apple orchards remain. The original house burned shortly after construction (1890's). The Schmidts then lived in their barn while the present house was being built. A large barn and granary have either burned or been removed.
After George Schmidt's death, his son, John, ran the farm. He sold the farm to a local realtor around 1958-1959. The Hayms then bought the house for a summer cottage. They later sold to the National Park Service.
Kerry Kelly 2006
Note the unique use of asphalt shingles used as siding. The resulting patterned appearance is striking. Also, the basement door and stairs are typical of construction in the area. The lean-to entryway on the back of the house is also common.
Did You Know?
There are 21 inland lakes within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Explore one of these small lakes for a close-up view of some of the birds, mammals, and wildflowers protected there. By the way, the fishing is usually great! More...