Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm
If we could produce milk with as low a bacteria count by machines as we could by hand, the Board of Health would give its consent. This was accomplished. The sale of Certified Milk was the life blood of the farm's economics, enhanced by the sale of livestock.
Dr. Sarah Van Hoosen Jones
The Van Hoosen Farm operation consisted of four phases: cattle herd, poultry, milk production, and tillable land for crops. Although Dr. Sarah Van Hoosen Jones started her farm operation by raising one thousand single-comb, white leghorn chickens, she devoted most of her efforts to the dairy operation. Through Sarah's efforts, the original herd of fifty Holstein-Friesian dairy cows increased until it numbered two hundred in 1944.
Every year between 1929 and the 1940s, the Van Hoosen Farm exhibited cattle and won ribbons at stock shows, including the Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois State Fairs and the Dairy Cattle Congress in Waterloo, Iowa. Van Hoosen cattle became desired throughout the world, and part of Sarah's prized stock was sold to the governments of Venezuela, Costa Rica, and Argentina for breeding programs.
The 1927 Van Hoosen Dairy Barn was constructed by Dr. Sarah Van Hoosen Jones as a state-of-the-art dairy building based on a design from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Bulletin No. 1342,
written in 1923. The guidelines listed in the bulletin included:
- "Barns should be built with its length extending north and south, so that the interior of the barn will receive the most sunlight."
- "Sunlight is considered essential to the health of the dairy cow, and it also tends to destroy disease germs which may be found in dark and dirty stables."
- "The system of ventilation...operates on the principle that warm air, being lighter than cold air, tends to rise, while the cold air tends to settle."
- "For the cow-stable floor concrete has become well established as the best material in alleys, driveways, gutters, and mangers, as it is durable and may be kept clean with the least amount of labor and expense.
The 1927 Van Hoosen Dairy Barn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been converted from a milking facility into a year-round cultural, educational, and recreational facility.
Visitors to the 1927 Van Hoosen Dairy Barn can enjoy permanent exhibits on the history of our local community, temporary exhibits, the Rochester Community Hall of Fame, and various multimedia presentations.