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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New Berlin in Waukesha County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

"Cornfalfa" Farms

 
 
Cornfalfa Farms Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Paul F, August 13, 2010
1. Cornfalfa Farms Marker
Inscription.  The William Schwartz Farm was established on May 15, 1844 on this location. It covered 527 acres from Coffee Road to Beeheim and from the Western boundary of the current City of New Berlin to Swartz Road. The farm passed to Peter M. Swartz. In 1882 he planted the first alfalfa plants in Wisconsin.
In 1906 Peter C., Lewis M., and Jason S., sons of Peter M. Swartz, became managers of the farms. They grew corn, alfalfa, and small purebred grains. By 1913 the Swartz Bros. were the most exclusive alfalfa growers in Wisconsin and considered authorities on the culture of alfalfa plants. In 1925 they set out their first apple trees. By 1938 they were harvesting 10,000 bushels of apples on 100 acres. Swartz apples were shipped across the United States. In 1926 they acquired their first breeding stock of Karakul sheep (Asiatic sheep). They won international awards for the finest Persian lamb wool. Swartz Bros. called their grazing sheep “power lawnmowers that manufactured wool out of grass”. The Swartz Bros. were known internationally as producers of “The Three A’s: Alfalfa, Apples and Asiatic Sheep.” They named their farm
"Cornfalfa" Farms Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Paul F, August 13, 2010
2. "Cornfalfa" Farms Marker
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“Cornfalfa” Farms and hold a United States copyright of the title dated August 27, 1912. In 1940 “Cornfalfa” Farms was the largest family owned and operated farm in New Berlin after starting with 80 acres, one cow and a small log house. The property is now part of the Waukesha County Parks System. Peter L. Swartz donated many farm artifacts and records to the New Berlin Historical Society.
 
Erected 2004 by Waukesha County Historical Society. (Marker Number 21-03.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Agriculture. A significant historical date for this entry is May 15, 1844.
 
Location. 42° 58.497′ N, 88° 10.363′ W. Marker is in New Berlin, Wisconsin, in Waukesha County. Marker is at the intersection of Racine Avenue and Swartz Road, on the right when traveling east on Racine Avenue. Marker located on the southwest corner of the intersection. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New Berlin WI 53146, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Cheney-Faulkner Cooper Home (approx. 2.6 miles away); Childhood Home of Wisconsin Governor Julius P. Heil (1876-1949) (approx. 2.8 miles away); Linnie Lac (approx. 3.3 miles away); Hamlet of Calhoun (approx. 3.4 miles away); Calhoun (approx. 3.4 miles away); Carroll College
"Cornfalfa" Farms Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Paul F, August 13, 2010
3. "Cornfalfa" Farms Marker
(approx. 3.4 miles away); Silurian Spring (approx. 3½ miles away); Lyman Goodnow (approx. 3.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Berlin.
 
Additional commentary.
1. Additional History
In 1844 William Swartz and his wife Anna moved to New Berlin from New York State via the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes. Originally, they came from Bavaria. They bought a farm of 80 acres just a couple of miles south of Waukesha. William was a man of strong convictions and irreproachable character and was respected and loved by the entire community. They attended the German Reformed Church across the road and were buried in the cemetery there.

William and Anna had one son, Peter Morgan, who carried on the farm. He was born on Feb.12, 1842 in New York. On May 6, 1887, he planted the first alfalfa in Wisconsin, which at the time was known as luzern.

In 1906 Peter C., Lewis M., and Jason, sons of Peter M. Swartz became the managers of the farm. During this time they grew alfalfa, corn and small purebred grains. The farm was then named Cornfalfa and has a copyright for that name which is dated Aug. 27, 1912. The Swartz Brothers were considered authorities
"Cornfalfa" Farms Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Paul F, August 13, 2010
4. "Cornfalfa" Farms Marker
on alfalfa plants. The next crop to be grown on the farm was apples in 1925. Eventually, they were producing 10,000 bushels of apples on 100 acres of land.

In 1926 they acquired their first breeding stock of Karakul Sheep (Asiatic Sheep). They liked to call their sheep "power lawn mowers that manufactured wool out of grass." The Swartz Brothers were known as producers of "The Three A's: alfalfa, apples, and Asiatic Sheep." One of Peter C. Swartz' fondest memories was the appreciation he received from Lindbergh for a pair of Karadul fur mittens given to him by Cornfalfa Farms. This occurred in Madison just after his historic flight.

Many honors came to the Swartz family over the years including the world's gold medal at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915. Each generation pioneered many new farming ideas. Peter Charles Swartz studied at Carroll College and the University of Wisconsin, and was very active in agricultural organizations throughout the state. Eventually Cornfalfa Farms covered 527 acres and was the largest family owned and operated farm in New Berlin. The property, located at Racine Avenue and Swartz Road, today is owned by the waukesha County Parks System.
    — Submitted December 16, 2011, by Linda Hansen of Waukesha, Wisconsin.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 16, 2010, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,512 times since then and 41 times this year. Last updated on August 19, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 16, 2010, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin.   3, 4. submitted on August 17, 2010, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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May. 25, 2022