The farm on 24 Mile Road was brought into the family when Robert Schramm bought the farm in March of 1908. It was originally 30 acres on the one lane dirt road. In 1909, he married Ida Siewert and they had eight children, Gertrude, Hazel, Martha, Martin, Irene, Beatrice, Evelyn and Ervin. Robert expanded the farm to 100 acres in 1914 when he acquired 70 acres adjacent to the property. The family milked cows, raised grains, vegetables and more. At that time, most farmers grew a variety of crops and animals to provide everything for their families.
The Beginning - Robert and Ida
Left: Robert and Ida's Wedding photon 1909
Right: Robert and Ida 1942
Above: Robert and Ida's Family. Left to right: Martin, Irene, Robert, Ervin, Ida, Beatrice, Martha, Evelyn, Gertrude
The Second Farm - Charles Schramm
Three years after Robert moved in, his father,Charles Schramm, bought the farm on the northeast corner of 24 Mile Road and Card Road in March of 1911. He moved from a farm on 24 Mile near North Avenue after most of his children had grown. After purchasing the farm next door, Robert and Charles could farm together on 180 acres.
Charles' family came to America from Waldeck, Germany when he was 5 years old in 1854. His family originally settled on a farm in Macomb Township approximately where 22 Mile Road and Heindrick is today. Charles lived a long life on the farm working with his son. He passed away at the age of 90 in 1939.
Martin & Esther
Robert and Ida's oldest son, Martin, stayed on the farm and married Esther Rang in 1936. Martin and Esther lived in the home and started a family there until Charles passing in 1939 when moved into Charles' home next door. Martin and Esther had five children: Nelson, Lois, Kenneth, Sandra and Dennis. They continued farming, milking cows, growing grains and hay. The family also relied on the Eastern Market for much of their income where they sold eggs, fruits and vegetables. Martin and Esther purchased the both farms eventually and lived at the east farm until their passing.
Left: Martin and Esther's Wedding
Right: Nelson, Lois and Kenneth
Kenneth & May
Martin and Esther's son, Kenneth, stayed on the farm and married May Sharp in 1966. They lived in Robert and Ida's home after their passing in 1957 and 1962. Ken and May had their first child in 1968 and went on to have five in total: Tim, Tom, Todd, Heidi and Hollie. The five kids grew up working on the farm and participating in 4-H at the Armada Fair. In 1990, they purchased the
farm from Martin and Esther. They continued going to the Eastern Market and milking cows. The cows were sold in 2002, and the farm shifted to growing mainly row crops including soy beans, corn and wheat. With the advancements in farming, farming families, like most businesses, tended to specialize in one type of farming instead of growing and raising everything they needed. Tom stayed on the farm and still works it today.
Above: Ken and May's Wedding
Right: Top - Ken, Heidi, May (pregnant with Hollie), Todd. Bottom - Tim and Tom
Ken and Tom loading hay into the farm truck Ken
Tom and Donna
With a full occupancy in both farms, Tom built a house on the farm property down Card Road. Soon, Tom married Donna in 1997 and they began a family with three kids, Chylie, Cidnee and Carlie. Tom continued to work both farms and rent more ground in Macomb County with his father, Kenny, and with the growing family, in 2005, Tom and Donna bought an organic farm over an hour north in Sanilac County.
Over the next five years, Tom travelled between both farms planting, maintaining and harvesting of many acres of corn, soy beans and wheat. During that
time, the work hardened for Ken as well and the decision was made to come back to the Macomb farm for Tom and his family in 2010. With the Card house sold and Martin and Esther's home now rented, they moved to a home in Armada. Now only a few minutes from the farm, Tom and Kenny could focus on operations there and expand acreage in Macomb and St. Clair County to a now near 2000 acres. Tom and Donna also started growing pumpkins and sold them as a self serve stand most days at the farm, for the first time, bringing a larger part of the community to the farm.
In 2008 and 2011, the Robert Schramm and Charles Schramm farms became Michigan Centennial Farms after being in the same family for over 100 years. In 2011, we held a day long celebration with a large party at the farm with the Schramm extended family and friends. In preparation for the party, May and family worked hard gathering all the history of the farm we now have to share with you today. We enjoyed the beautiful day with festivities such as square dancing and hay rides. Both farms now have Michigan Centennial Farm signs in front of both houses that you can see from the road. We were even highlighted in the Macomb Daily and in several articles online. You can read about it hereand here.
Cidnee, Tom and Donna putting up the Centennial sign at the west farm.
Nelson, Ken and Denny putting up the Centennial sign at the east farm
Tom, May and Ken at the west farm
Centennial Celebration with a tube slide for the kids
Ken, Tom and May with the Centennial farm certificates
Centennial Celebration - Part of the historical display in the now Schramm's Farm Market building. Pictured is a cow milker
Chylie and Mark
In the next few years, Ken had a few health scares, but was farming and throwing hay bales until he passed away suddenly on the farm in early 2015. With Ken being gone, for the first generation there was no father and son to work the farm. Over the years, family friends helped on the farm during busy seasons and they continued to help Tom, now farming alone.
In 2015, Chylie graduated from Armada High School and went to college at Oakland University with no ambitions for farming at the time. In 2016, she met Mark Sweeney, a farmer originally from New Haven around the corner from the Schramm's. Living in southern Sanilac County, he raised sheep and managed a farm near Wadhams. Soon after meeting, Tom asked Mark to join him working the family farm in Macomb in 2017. Chylie was immersed back into farm life raising sheep with Mark and soon learning the ropes after not working the farm much in earlier life. Deciding to pursue other options, Chylie decided to start working full time and did not return to the University after the fall 2017 semester.
In June of 2019, Chylie and Mark married at her parents property in Armada, and bought a small farm in Sanilac County. Now raising about 100 sheep and growing over 50 acres of hay there. Chylie worked at a vet clinic near home in Sanilac County until COVID hit in early 2020 when the clinic laid off many workers. With no end in sight to the virus, the family worked on an idea that had been brewing for a few years, and Schramm's Farm Market was born. That summer we opened Schramm's Farm Market as the first full time farm stand on the farm. Getting back to our roots we started small by growing some tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, sweet corn, and sourcing from other local farmers. We expanded our pumpkin growing and saw so many new faces from the surrounding community. With 2020's success, we were able to make many improvements to the Schramm's Farm Market building, and slowly we are converting the pole barn into a storefront. As the 5th generation at the Schramm Farm, Chylie runs most of the day to day business of Schramm's Farm Market's side of the farm with the help of Tom, Donna and her husband.
In 2021, we enhanced our vegetable production by growing most of the veggies on plastic mulch and running underground drip irrigation. We grew close to 10 acres of sweet corn, 15 acres of pumpkins, a few acres of vegetables and will be increasing our acreage with the growing support from the community. Our homegrown veggies now include tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, sweet corn, cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, winter squash, onions and more. In our store you can find fresh veggies from mid-July through October, handmade goods including wreaths and household items, jellies, jams, salsa, dressings, baked goods, dip mixes, etc. Starting in September, we have everything you need to decorate for fall: mums, stackable pumpkins, gourds, mini pumpkins, corn stalks, straw bales, decorated mini straw bales, and hand painted pumpkins. For the future, we look forward to bringing more fresh food to the community and educating about agriculture. We hope you keep growing with us for generations to come.
Family & Farm Photo Gallery
Left to Right: Donna, May and Chylie