The Farm Inc. is a 40-acre farm business located in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Dedicated to achieving their mission of being a living museum of rural America, the farm focuses on agricultural, historical, cultural, educational, and ecological values. Comprising ancient log buildings, barns, trails, woodland, and farm animals, the farm aims to preserve the rural heritage of the area through conservation and education.
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The people behind the farm were Carl and Ruth Scholz, alongside six of their good friends. Together, they bought 40 acres of land in the 1960s, building the stable and barn in 1966 and the farm opening to the public that summer. After a long period of ownership, Carl and Ruth Scholz sold the farm to the Tanck family in 2002. David Tanck worked on the farm during high school and college, where he developed a love for it. He grouped together his immediate and extended family to buy the farm, and today maintains it with the same care and attention given to it by the previous owners.
Bassford House dates back to 1856, when it was built by George Bassford. This log house was moved over to the farm in 1966 and was the first of five cabins to be reconstructed on the farm site.
The Sugarshack is a representation of the many past sugar and maple syrup producing sugarhouses commonly found in Wisconsin and Canada. The building was constructed in 1981-82 and purposefully positioned under a limestone ridge to get some help from gravity when the sap collection tank was being unloaded. It is open for visitors to explore.
The nature cabin was built in 1854 by Carl Arlum. It was used as accommodation for workers stationed in Wisconsin who built the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal in 1872-1881. It was moved to the farm in 1970, and is now home to the farm’s observation incubator, where visitors can watch chicks hatching.
The woodshed is a typical woodshed found on many American farms. Built by John Simon in 1876, the shed was moved to the farm in 1971. It now serves as an all-purpose facility, holding wood, peat, tools, snowshoes, and other necessities for life on the farm.
The granary was constructed by John Jadin in 1871. It was originally built to house cattle, with an attached lean-to for people. Now displaying a wine press, a collection of barbed wire, a selection of seed varieties, and ancient farm machinery, visitors can step inside the life of a farm from yesteryear.
Throughout the many acres of the farm are historical fences and stiles. Notable fences are the stone fences built of fossil rocks and an historical stile that uses falling bars, especially designed “for forgetful people”.
The farm contains a number of trails for visitors to walk. Available trails are the Prairie Trail, the Cedar Trail, the Maple Trail, the Beech Trail, and the Succession Trail. Visitors can also walk through the woods, observing the pond life from the bridge.
Growing within the gardens of the farm are farm crops, herbs, vegetables, and flowers. Visitors can peruse the poppy, and sunflower gardens and may even be lucky enough to find a four-leafed clover.
The farm encourages interaction between their many animals and visitors. It is possible to feed the baby goats and pigs as well as hold kittens and, on occasion, ducks. Visitors can also feed the cattle. The cattle breeds range from Scottish Highland to Texas Longhorns. Other animals found on the farm are horses, pigeons, sheep, donkeys, and chickens.
The Farm Gift Shop is located near to the entrance in the big red barn and sells handmade gifts, unique collectibles, and many other farm-related items. The Milk House sells a range of ice creams and cold drinks for visitors.
How to Get There
The Farm Inc. can be found 50 miles from Green Bay and 150 miles from Milwaukee. Visitors should drive 4 miles north of Sturgeon Bay on Highway 57 to locate the farm. A signpost for the farm will mark the turning for the farm on the left-hand side of the road.
4285 WI-57, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235, Phone: 920-743-6666