Jack’s Journal: Hillside Homestead

Yes it is 2017, but at the Hillside Homestead in Leelanau County it’s between 1900 and 1910. 

That is exactly how Susan Odom wants it.  It’s her slice of the past in the present, and you’re invited to join her.

“They can spend the night. I serve big farm dinners, teach a few classes and have a small farm operation,” explained Susan.

She loves having student tours, explaining how to use a wood stove, showing guest how to collect eggs; it’s a way of life we have surrendered to modern convenience.

“We don’t have to know how to do things anymore, and we just forget,” said Susan.

So, why is Susan this way? As a kid she loved ‘Little House on the Prairie’ and planted a garden.  Things didn’t really click until she got a job working at Historic Greenfield Village.

“I thought, ‘Huh! This is it this is my life. This is what I’m good at,” explained Susan.

The light went on and eventually Hillside Homestead was born.

Her collection of vintage cookbooks provide the recipes. The wood stove, the oil lamps, oh, and the Victrola. Susan provides her guest with a slice of the way it used to be, like taking 45 minutes to boil the coffee with an egg.  

Is she an old soul in the modern world?

“In many ways, I am,” Susan said. “I think the older I get and the longer I have my little homestead here, the more I’m retreating, the more I am becoming this.” 

Our area is full of folks with interests that make this a fun place to live.

Susan has taken her knowledge and passion of the old farm ways and created a one of a kind place to visit.

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