(from the Winter 2022 edition of Macomb Now Magazine)
By Cherie Allen
As government land began opening up in the Michigan Territory, the opportunities offered attracted many settlers to the new territory. In 1823, one of those settlers, Aaron Stone, came to Macomb County, District of Detroit, from Pittsford, New York. He and his family settled on land in Town 4 North, Range 12 East, which would later be known as Washington Township.
The Stone Farm was located at the southeast corner of Campground and 29 Mile Road in Section 22. Mr. Stone purchased 80 acres of government land at $1.25 an acre on July 10, 1823. He later added an additional 80 acres in February of 1826. Aaron and Margaret (Hayden) Stone’s first home was a log cabin which, as their family grew, was replaced with a farmhouse. The farmhouse was close to an Indian trail that went from Mount Clemens to Lapeer, and Indians would frequently stop for food and water. Originally, Aaron raised cattle on The Stone Farm and drove them all the way to Buffalo himself to sell. After Mr. Stone’s death in 1872, his son William took over operation of the farm, made improvements to the house, built the barns, and purchased additional land, increasing the farm to 240 acres. William raised sheep, hogs, apples, and seed for the D.M. Ferry seed farm.
William passed away in 1899, and his sons, Arthur and Omar, took over operation of The Stone Farm. They made additional improvements and the farm was considered one of the best farms in this portion of the state. Upon the death of her father, Omar Stone, ownership of the farm went to Harriette Stone Couch, whose husband, C. W. Couch, enlarged the farm to over 300 acres.
On January 17, 1952, The Stone Farm was certified as a Centennial Farm by the Historical Society of Michigan. The farm was again certified by the Society as a Sesquicentennial Farm on October 29, 1993. The Orchards Golf Club purchased the original portion of the farm and opened in 1993.
The photo above of the Stone Farm was taken by a Detroit News photographer in February 1957. The family vehicle in the driveway is a 1953 Chevrolet 210, four-door sedan. You also see the family dog, maybe a German Shorthair hunting dog. The dog is still and on point possibly on a pheasant off in the distance. The sky shows that more snow is on the way.
Photo courtesy of the Greater Washington Area Historical Society. The Stone Farm, in addition to many other farms in Ray, Romeo and Washington Townships, can be viewed in the “Barns of Ray, Romeo, & Washington” 2022 calendar. The calendars are for sale at the Washington Museum, the second and fourth Sundays of each month, Romeo Archival Center, and at the Ray Township Public Library and Township Offices.