The German Starke family at 294 Bradley Road
German farmers Henry and Eleanore Starke, with their children, Caroline, Henrietta, Henry, Fred and Frank, came to Dover Township in 1868. Their 40-acre farm, Lot #91, purchased from Henry Winsor, was on the west side of Bradley Road.
On the land was a small frame house, part of the Henry Winsor house left on the property when Henry's house was moved north on Bradley Road. Henry built a split level, brick house in front of the small, frame house and attached the two houses. The sign above the new front door read 1871. This house, with more additions, and painted yellow, still stands on Bradley Road today. As in the German tradition, Henry deeded his land to his youngest son, Frank, and his wife, Anna Meilander.
In 1904, Frank enlarged his farm by purchasing additional land from August Meilander, his father-in-law and neighbor to the south. The Starkes were landscape gardeners in the area. They kept their own grounds immaculately groomed; the driveway was always in perfect outline with a very fine gravel in it.
In 1922, Frank and Anna deeded their property to their son Richard. Richard and Laura Starke kept a beautiful chrysanthemum farm on part of the land until the 1950s.
This farm was divided into lots and is today a neighborhood of homes. Bar Harbor and Clarewood Drives are part of the old back acreage. At one time the backyards of the houses on Bradley Road could claim two or more of the apple trees from the Starke orchard. Over the years, they have disappeared.
I am the Historian for the Bay Village Historical Society, member and Past President, 1976. Lived in the village since 1936. I was part of a team that developed the Cahoon farmhouse into Rose Hill Museum in 1973. I participated by inventoring the Cahoon items and serving as the first Accessions Chairman and as a Docent at the museum for 20 years. I was part of the committee that brought the Osborn house to Cahoon Memorial Park in 1995 and turned it into a learning center. Along with my sister, Gay Menning, and the society, we wrote the 'Bay Way of Life' history book in 1974. When Ginny Peterson asked for my help, I offered my historical pictures and wrote the captions for the Arcadia picture book, 'Bay Village,' published in 2007.