It is the mission of Wellington Farm, USA to provide an interactive, educational opportunity for
visitors to experience life as it was in rural mid-America during The Great Depression. A vital component of our mission
is to stress the importance of our natural resources, highlighting the wonders of our beautiful Northern Michigan surroundings
and detailing the ecology of the beech/maple forest.
Wellington Farm, USA was
a farming community in the southwest corner of Crawford County, Michigan. It existed officially from 1881 until 1918,
that being the period of time when the post office was in operation. The Wellington Post Office had possibly 8 different
sites, and Wellington Farm, USA is located near one of these sites.
One of the very early settlers was Wellington Batterson. He homesteaded in the area in 1878.
In 1879, when Crawford County was organized, he assumed the duty of Judge. He was later elected Judge of Probate, a
title that he held for many years. It is likely that the post office and the community were named for Judge Batterson.
In 1910, Judge Batterson was instrumental in a publication designed
to stimulate interest in farming in Crawford County. It was hoped that this publication would entice immigrants to come
to the area and take up farming. The most profitable cash crops at the time were clover seed and potatoes.
In 1918, the duties of the Wellington Post Office were taken over
by the nearby City of Grayling, MI and slowly the community of Wellington began to disappear. A few of the old homes
and farm buildings still exist, but most of what was once a bustling farming community is now gone.
Wellington Farm, USA is the creation of a local resident
who, by his own admission, was born more years ago than he'd like to admit on a farm in northwest lower Michigan.
The only son of a farmer and a school teacher, Howard Taylor earned degrees from both Central Michigan University and Michigan
State University. He began a 30-year career in education, teaching music and theatre.
Upon his retirement from teaching, Howard began creating a living history farm in Crawford County near
Grayling, MI. Discovering some of the aforementioned history of the area, Taylor began researching material and developing
interpretive and educational stories and presentations to entertain visitors to the park. An avid collector of farm
equipment, he expanded his collection to include authentic buildings.
Taylor's wife, Gloria, urged him to combine his passions into the current Wellington Farm, USA.
In 1996 the "doors" were opened to the public and tours of the facility were offered complete to every historical
detail acknowledged in the buildings, dress, and storytelling enjoyed by those who experience the park.