Byers Homestead is one of our favorite places to take a break, stroll, and feed the ducks. This latter activity has given the homestead its nickname of “the Duck farm”.
The picturesque bridge over the Huron bridge is a popular sight and great duck feeding spot. Many of us in the community have been coming to this site since we were young children. We love to see these traditions persist from generation to generation.
The homestead seeks to preserve the history of Commerce Township while providing families of today a perfect place to spend time together. It’s the oldest settlement in Commerce Township. This site is a legacy that serves our community as a cultural, educational, and recreational resource.
The Byers Homestead was initially settled in 1825 by Abram Walrod, a German immigrant. The first structure on the property was a log cabin. However, that cabin was taken down and replaced with a farmhouse in the 1840s.
The farmhouse was built by the second inhabitant of the property, Frederick Pecks. After Pecks’ death, his daughter Grace Germaine took up residence in 1908. Germaine was the last confirmed resident of the building. However, the farmhouse is still standing on the property, allowing visitors to take a step back in time.
Near the farmhouse is a barn that was likely constructed around 1900. At one point, it may have even been used as a blacksmith shop.
Today, it continues its commercial role as the property’s country store. Every Sunday between noon and 5 p.m., visitors can purchase treats for as well as bags of corn to feed the ducks.
The preservation of this historic site happened with the work of dedicated volunteers. The homestead site itself was recognized as a historic site on the state register in 1977. However, it lacked a dedicated preservation group.
In 1995, the Friends of Byers group formed. They organized to make sure that this location did not fall into disarray. By 1998, Commerce Township bought the property, which the Friends of Byers continue to maintain.
We think holidays are the perfect time for families to come together in joy and celebration. The homestead is a wonderful place for that.
The homestead offers many chances for families to spend time together. There is trick-or-treating, pictures with Santa, or Easter egg hunts… not a holiday goes unmarked! Some events are by reservation only, so be sure to plan ahead. We hope you’ll consider joining us for one such event in the future!
In addition to holiday events, there are also vintage markets, summer festivals, and more. The homestead serves as a place for the community and visitors to gather.
There are plenty of volunteer and preservation opportunities at Commerce Township landmark. The homestead can use help in a variety of ways, including maintenance, sponsorship, and fundraising. The Friends of Byers group generally meets once a month and invite anyone to join. Any monetary donations are also immensely appreciated.
Commerce Township Resources