Thursday, September 27, 2012

Artie Schiemann, Farmer And City Benefactor, Dies

The City knew Artie Schiemann as the man who so badly wanted to preserve his family farm as open space that he sold the development rights to the City for far less than they were worth, preserving his beautiful land on Bradley Street forever. Everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him knew him as a wonderful gentleman who shared his love and knowledge of farming. My family would stop by his farm to buy turnips--he would proudly walk out to his fields and pull up the best ones he had for us. Others tell stories about harvesting hay or potatoes with him, or about learning the life of a bee hive. He was driving a tractor until just a few years ago, and he was always eager to give a young child a ride through the fields.

Schiemann spent almost his entire life as a farmer in Westfield, leaving only to serve in Italy and North Africa during World War II. He died on September 14th at the age of 93.

In 2009, Schiemann was honored by the City for arranging for the permanent protection of his family farm. He was praised as one of the kindest neighbors and gentlemen anybody has known. But he was also perhaps the most modest. When asked why he wanted to preserve the land, he told The Eye's Ed McKeon, "I did it because I thought about my mother and father and how much they loved the farm, ... And I did it because it made me feel good."

In Schiemann's obituary in The Courant, it is suggested that donations in his honor be made to The Middlesex Land Trust, which works to preserve land in our city and elsewhere in the county.


. . said...

Thank you so much for honoring Artie! I do have one small correction though... Artie was on his tractor less than a month before he passed away. He had a 1949 tractor and kept it in working order! He was loved by so many people of all generations and will be missed. I hope that the city of Middletown does something to commemorate this amazing man and the gift that he left the city.

David Bauer said...

Adolph "Artie" Schiemann, admired by many and emulated by too few - I have lots of great memories of good conversation in the kitchen, under the shade trees, but especially following Artie through his fields and garden.