The Historic Simi Farm is for Sale! This property is located in Laird Township, in central Houghton County of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. In May 1862, the Homestead Act opened up settlement in the western United States, allowing any American to put in a claim for up to 160 free acres of federal land. During this time many Finnish Settlers traveled into Houghton County to take advantage of this opportunity! Homesteaders paid a small filing fee and were required to complete five years of continuous residence before receiving ownership of the land. After six months of residency, homesteaders also had the option of purchasing the land from the government for $1.25 per acre. In 1892 Johan (John) Simi filed for land in Section 5, and achieved his patent in 1899 after he cleared 5 acres and had a home built. After he and his wife passed away the land was divided between four sons. Son Carl stayed to farm on the land and in 1913 built the home being offered for sale. One Brother sold his share outside the family, and two Brothers later sold their property back to Carl, to consolidate the property back into the Family. In 1930 Carl added 80 Acres in the southern half of Section 6 to his property. Carl's family grew to seven children, and the youngest, Erwin eventually took over the Farm. In 1951 Edwin added 80 Acres in the northern half of Section 6. Life in the early days wasn't easy. These Homesteaders worked hard to clear the land for pastures by cutting trees with crosscut saws, using explosives to dislodge larger stumps, and managing teams of horses for hauling and plowing. Many trees were sold to the Von Platten and Fox Timber Company (the original owners of the land) who built railroad grades through Section 6 to haul the timber to their mills in Iron Mountain. Just north of this property was a small mining location called White. This railroad grade became know as the White Siding. Some of the largest trees could not be moved this way so they were left standing and are still present on the land today. Because of their wish to perpetually preserve the natural character of this land, Erwin and his Wife enrolled approximately 180 Acres of Forested land and 70 Acres of Open land in a Conservation Easement held by the Keweenaw Land Trust. The easement prohibits clearcutting or clearing of the northern hardwood forest, ensuring that these areas will be perpetuated in a forested condition. These managed forested lands have rolling-to-steep topography with streams. The open areas are level to gently rolling, and are periodically mowed. There is a man-made pond and some small wetlands on the property. 5 Acres with the House and Outbuildings are excluded from the Conservation Easement. The structures on this farmstead may be National Register eligible based on their architectural significance. This farm site includes examples of an upright side gabled Home in very good condition, a Hewn Dovetailed Log Building, Sauna, and an impressive Gothic-Round Roofed Dairy Barn with side wings. The design of the barn was to optimize loft space for the storage of hay. These buildings represent Finnish cultural building traditions that are worthy of recognition. Contact us today to arrange for your private tour of this wonderful history-filled property!
From the L'Anse Welcome Sign take US-41 north 5 miles to M-38 in Baraga. Take a left and go 14+/- miles to White Siding Road. Take a left. Go .14 miles and take a right. Go .38 miles and take a left. Go .23 miles to home on the right.