From: Gayle Goetzman
Our Goetzman/Johnson family dairy farm evolved with our grandfather Wendel (Wendelin Goetzman and Anna Voelker) Goetzman and grandmother Mary Johnson (William Johnson, born in Denmark and Jennie Adams) Goetzman raising pigs, sheep and Guernsey dairy cattle along with five children — William, Kenneth, George, Everett, and Ethel Goetzman.
Our father George and mother Gertrude (Clemence Kamrowski and Martha Glowacki) Kamrowski-Goetzman raised pigs and milked up to 40 Holsteins daily on their Grade A dairy farm along with six children — Gayle, Gary, Greta, Gregory, Gwendolyn, and Gordy Goetzman. Through the years we raised crops of oats, hay, corn, and soybeans along with chickens, geese, ducks and a large vegetable garden with flowers grown throughout the yard and lawn. Grandmother Mary prided herself on constructing three circle rock gardens of honeycombed stones (stones with holes containing shiny quartz) which she filled with annual and perennial flowers. I best remember her yellow rose bushes blooming along the apple orchard fence line, the lilac and snowball mini-trees, the pink peonies and the huge sugar maple and cottonwood trees. Our farm was known as Maple Dale!
Our grandparents quarried their building foundations from the limestone rock found on their wooded hillside and harvested wood from the surrounding forests to heat their two homes. The two large barns with attached milk houses and block ice storage sheds, machine shed and two homes were constructed with the help of neighbors, family and friends. All work was accomplished with the help of workhorses! These horses sparked a love that flourished in the hearts of the third generation family members for the horse. Expressions such as “use horse sense,” “hold your horses,” “you’ve too many irons in the fire,” “we make hay when the sun shines,” “hay burners,” “take up the reins,” “ride horseback,” “horseless carriage,” “horse laugh,” “eat like a horse,” “horsepower,” “comb your pony tail,” “stop the horseplay,” etc., were used frequently.
Presently, the family-owned farm (remainder purchased by eldest daughter Gayle B. Goetzman in 1978), consists of about 170 acres. Some 158 acres were enrolled in the Minnesota Land Trust in 2005, to limit development of the land due to its close location to the city of Winona. Dad’s second wife sold her inheritance, after dad’s passing in 1978, to a land developer and is now Valley Oaks Subdivision. Shortly after dad passed, both barns burned to the ground! After hardships, it’s a blessing the farm, now a horse ranch, remains vibrant, healthy and thriving!