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Updated Wednesday, March 05, 2014 at 3 PM EST
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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 07/03/13
Finn Rice, 3, of Romeo, enjoyed some Blue Moon flavored ice cream from the Westview Orchards Schoolhouse Ice Cream and Sweet Shoppe during Saturday's celebration.
(Observer photo by Debi Martone)
Large crowd, state dignitaries
celebrate Westview's bicentennial
by DEBI MARTONEWestview Orchards invited hundreds of guests to their birthday party on Saturday, June 29. And hundreds of guests showed up.
Observer Special Writer
Katrina Schumacher and Abby Jacobsen, sisters and sixth generation farmers, commemorated the 200th anniversary of their Washington Township farm amongst their family, friends, neighbors, employees, customers and local and state dignitaries, celebrating a milestone not reached by many businesses or farms across the country.
Michigan's governor, Rick Snyder, was among the guests. After a tour of the farm, he addressed a crowd who gathered to watch history unfold, as Kelly Bolster, membership and awards coordinator, unveiled a sign that designated Westview Orchards as the first Bicentennial Farm to be certified through the Historical Society of Michigan. The sign was sponsored by DTE Energy.
"It is always great to celebrate success," Snyder said. "Today we celebrate a family and a farm that is a role model of the past and the future."
Official recognition, plaques and resolutions were also presented by U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; U.S. Representative Candice Miller; Macomb County Commissioner, Don Brown; Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and Wayne Wood, president of the Michigan Farm Bureau. State Representatives Ken Goike and Pete Lund were also in attendance for the presentation, which was emceed by Washington Township Supervisor Dan O'Leary.
"This is an amazing story," said Stabenow. "In 1813 this orchard was established. At that time there was only 18 states in our country. Michigan was 24 years from statehood. The Union flag was still flying over Mackinac Island."
Stabenow recognized Westview's founder, Michael Bowerman, as being one of the heroes who fought in the final battle of the War of 1812, which ultimately gave the United States independence from Great Britain.
"This is a wonderful story, not only of the past but of the future," she said.
From 10 a.m.-3 p.m., all of the activities at Westview Orchard were free for the guests to enjoy, including guided wagon tours, the 3-acre playground, jumping pillows, and the always popular petting farm. Special agricultural related exhibits were also offered for free as well as presentations about canning, gardening and composting. Free balloons, ice cream cones, donuts and other treats were also available during the celebration.
"I'm more emotional than I anticipated," said Schumacher. "To see the number of families and folks who are here<it's like a big family reunion."
Schumacher said the farm would not have thrived throughout the years without not only the dedication and hard work of her family, but also the employees and faithful customers who have helped make the farm a success.
"I know what we are doing is right. I am certain of our future and I look forward to the next chapter," she said.