Curtis Fowler, Sr. and his sons, Curtis, Jr., and Francis came to the Peninsula in l855, and purchased land in 1856, the first year that settlers were able to buy property. He then had the property deeded to him by the General Land Office and signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1861. Curtis, Sr. was the Postmaster of the Mapleton Post Office, Judge of Probate for Grand Traverse County and along with his sons, had a nursery where they grew fruit trees.
In April of 1861, Curtis, Jr., joined the army during the civil war. He was wounded and sent home so his brother Francis went off to fight. Francis was killed in the second battle of Bull Run.
Curtis Fowler, Sr. had the property deeded to him by the General Land Office and signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1861.
Curtis, Jr. married Margaret Patterson, the daughter of William and Margaret, who also lived on the Peninsula. Together, they raised 8 children. One of their daughters, Ethelyn, married Alexander Holman who had come from Canada to stay with relatives. Alexander & Ethelyn built the house on Center Road where Tim, Laurie and Cory now live. Alexander and Ethelyn had two children, Bernard and Florence. Bernard’s son Jack became the only grower to assume responsibility for the orchards.
In 2011 Jack, Curtis Fowler, Sr’s. Great-Great Grandson and his wife Georgia Holman along with their son and daughter-in-law Tim and Laurie Holman, daughter Beth and son-in-law Robert Bodjanac and Grandchildren Cory Holman, Holly and her husband James Reinhart and Christopher Bodjanac, celebrated over 150 years of their family’s settlement on the Old Mission Peninsula. The family began growing sweet cherries in 1890.
Today, Tim, Laurie and Cory Holman, are the sixth and seventh generations to live on the original farm purchased by Curtis Fowler, Sr., where they raise Sweet and Tart Cherries. Their home, where Tim’s Father Jack was born, sits just North of where the original log home that Curtis Fowler, Sr., built on the property immediately upon arriving and before his wife Louisa made it to the Peninsula, so that they would have a place to live.