In addition to commercial fishing, shipbuilding, the docks and other industry, Huron has relied on farming to boost its economy. The sandy, fertile soil of Huron Township has sustained many Huron familes and added to the town’s prosperity. From large tracts of land to small fruit and vegetable stands, farming has been an essential part of the Huron community in the past and today as well. Many of those farms, some of which were located on Bogart and Fox Roads, are still farmed today..
Before eminent domain pushed families and farms off of the NASA Plumbrook area for the building of the TNT plant, the Hemminger family farmed much of that acreage from the 1920s to 1941. Before moving from Sandusky to Bogart and Fox Roads, just west of Camp Road, in 1974, the Hemmingers harvested about a 100 acres of cabbage and tomatoes as well as grain feed for their 150 hogs, 8 work horses, and 50 steers. Robert Hemminger received six draft deferments during WWI so the farm could continue to feed the homeland. In 1989 a portion of the farm became the site of herb, succulent, perennial, and vegetable farm of Mulberry Creek under the vision of Robert's daughter, Karen, and her family, the Langans. In this 1948 photo, George Hemminger and his sons George and Robert are posing with some of their 800 tons of annual cabbage harvest. As teens they planted cabbage seedlings in late afternoons and spent their summers hoeing the fields 10-12 hours a day. At harvest they used knives and pitchforks to cut and throw cabbages into the wagons.
The Starr family has owned property on the corner of Fox and Rye Beach Roads since the 1830s. John W. Starr, born in 1852, grew a variety of vegetables and fruits. His son Rolland raised fox in the early 1900s. Rolland's son Nelson, born in 1916, took over the farm when he was 18 and switched from raising fox to mink. He bred mink for over 40 years, developing various colors of award-winning pelts. Nelson died in 2019.
John Schlessman began growing seed for local farmers in 1915 on a farm on Rt. 250 and Fox Road. He and his wife, Elizabeth, had four sons, Arthur, Edward, Herbert and Robert. His sons eventually joined him and in 1957 John incorporated the business as J. Schlessman & Sons, Inc. The business grew so large that entire railroad boxcars of Schlessman's seed were shipped around the country from the company in Avery. John’s son Edward and his wife Berneita (Ohlemacher) had four sons, Denver, Rolland, David and Kenneth. In 1941 they bought Adam Hahn’s farm and house (pictured) on Bogart Rd. Rollie and his son Dale farm land all over Huron Township, which they both own and lease. The Schlessmans grow popcorn, sweet corn, field corn, soybeans, oats and wheat seed for commercial processors all over the world.
Conrad and Elizabeth Hahn came to the United States from Oberaula, Germany in 1873. Conrad had five sons: William, Henry, Theodore, Adam, and John. Conrad and his family first lived in a house on the corner of Rye Beach and Bogart Roads he bought on June 24, 1873. Conrad then bought 80 acres and the house at 804 Bogart Road in 1892 from Daniel Garrett’s estate (pictured). Built in 1840, the house has remained in the Hahn family since that time. In the 1960s the Hahns became known for their delicious sweet corn and peaches, a tradition Mary and Gordon Hahn, Conrad’s great-great grandson, continued until 2019.