Farm Horizons, December 2019

Three-generation Fake family farm

By Cassandra Rose

In his memoir, “The Story of My Life,” the late George R. Fake recalls the farm his parents, Joseph and Julia (Russek) Fake, owned south of Delano, along County Road 17.

He explains early life on the farm, “My mother helped dad with milking the cows, and in the summertime, also helped to put up the hay. The milking had to be done by hand, and when we were old enough, it became a daily chore. Seven cows at the most, per person, were milked every morning and evening.”

George continued to help clearing wooded areas of the land to raise crops in the fields, where most of the work was done by hand.

In high school, George helped his father with new machinery and remembered, “we had a Fordson tractor with a mounted plow” that “wasn’t easy to work with, but I guess it was faster than horses.”

The Fake farm saw many difficult seasons, as did most of the farms in the surrounding area.

In his memoir, George talks about “plowing for the township for 75 cents per hour,” and “the roads being narrow and cutting through hills.” He explained how difficult this made it for farmers to get their milk or cream to the creamery.

George never lived on the farm, but his son, George Fake Jr., took it over when his grandparents were ready for retirement.

George Jr. was a prominent farmer in the Delano, Franklin Township area. Born to George and Leona (Schaust) Fake in September 1947, George Jr. made many changes to the farm during his lifetime, including the introduction of sheep herding and tree farming.

George Jr. built a new barn, which housed the first milking parlor in the Delano area. He milked up to a 102 cows twice a day.

“This was one of many continuing updates to the farm over the many years he ran it,” stated George Jr.’s youngest sister, Rose (Fake) Schadow.

George Jr. passed his legacy on to his children, Oct. 28, 2019, when he passed away peacefully.

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