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Farm History

Six Generations of farming on the Wunsch family farm

Six Generations of farming on the Wunsch family farm

Helene & Theodore Wunsch were the first generation to live on the family farm. They immigrated from Germany and bought the farm in June of 1848. They bought the land from a serviceman who had been given the land for his service in the army. They built a wood cabin as the first house on the property and started farming on the shores of lake Michigan. Later they built a cream city brick house around the wood cabin.

Laura & Otto Wunsch were the second generation to live on the family farm. They raised seven boys and sold milk and cheese. Because they had such a large family, they added onto the brick farmhouse that is still standing today. Otto and his sons built a dairy barn in 1900 for 65 guernsey cows (state averge at the time was about 30). He and his sons milked them all by hand. They also had a cheese factory because guernseys are high in butter fat, which is used to make cheese. Their son Hugo took over the farm in the next generation.

 

Ella & Hugo Wunsch were the third generation to live on the family farm. They raised cows and sheep and grew thousands of apples in their orchards each year. They sold apples and they also made cider every weekend with a cider press. The family still makes cider today, using a preserved cider press handed down through the years from the 1930's. Hugo often grafted several different types of apples onto the same tree. Hugo was a forward thinker, and he was the first farmer in the area to put in a fuel oil generator that powered a 12 cell alkaline battery pack that was used to run a powered milking pump. This way he did not need to milk all his cows by hand any longer. Ella got another generator in 1915 to run her washing machine.

Doris & Harvey Wunsch were the fourth generation to live on the family farm. They raised cows and operated a chicken hatchery. They hatched 250,000 chicks each year and collected over 5,000 eggs daily. The current Bed & Breakfast building is the former chicken hatchery. There were incubators downstairs, an office and a store in the reception area, and storage upstairs. They continued to run the orchard, milk cows, and run the hatchery. There were approximately 10,000 chickens in 13 barns at any given time.

Mary & Nate are the sixth generation to operate the farm. They moved to Sheboygan and re-branded the property as Lake Orchard Farm Retreat. First they remodeled the former chicken hatchery into the current bed and breakfast which opened in 2009. In 2015, they remodeled the old milking parlor and freestyle barn into a fish nursery and greenhouse and opened Lake Orchard Farm Aquaponics. In 2017, they opened the Lake Orchard Farm event barn after renovating the barn that was originally built in 1900. They have 2 children, Marcus and Juliet, who they hope will be the seventh generation to operate the family farm.


 
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