Hoenes Centennial Farm

By dhowell - Posted on 03 January 2008

A farm owned by Walter W. Hoenes of Sheridan Road, five miles south of Manchester has been designated as a Centennial Farm by the Michigan Historical Commission.

Walter Hoenes and Centennial Farm.

It was originally purchased on July 2, 1866, by Ludwig Hoenes, grandfather of the present owner, from John Betz. It is located in Manchester Township, Washtenaw County, and has been in the possession of the family since 1866. The original farm had 40 acres. Later, 60 more acres were added. The oldest part of the house has a thick stone foundation with hewn logs on top.

After the Hoenes family acquired the farmhouse, they added several rooms so that now there are 10 large rooms and a large utility area. Although Lewis Hoenes used to find arrow heads on the land Walter never found one.

However, he did find a stone which had been fashioned to make some kind of a tool which the Indians used. Hoenes said that he threw it out of a field and then noticed that when it fell against another stone, it had an unusual clanging sound. He investigated and scraped off the dirt to find it was no ordinary stone.

His grandfather used to tell of watching the Indians on the farm as they followed along the creek which ran through it. He would warn his family to be careful and noted that "the noisy Indians are friendly but watch out for the quiet ones."

Hoenes said that according to old records there was once a saw mill on the property. His father was highway commissioner beginning in 1886, and among his papers he found an order to pay G. E. Smith 75 cents for shoveling snow for two and a half hours in 1926.