Part of Tree-Mendus sold at auction

EAU CLAIRE — A series of events, not related to each other, ultimately meant the demise of the Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm near Eau Claire.

First, owner Herb Teichman, who created the International Cherry Pit Spit, which was hosted on the Tree-Mendus property and drew participants and news coverage from around the world to the farm each July 4 weekend, died at the age of 88 in January 2019.

Then, Bill Teichman, a third-generation farmer of the property contracted eastern equine encephalitis last August and was hospitalized.

Finally, nearly four months later in December, the family announced on its Facebook fan page that U-Pick fruit business would close for good.

In March, the auction of the property, which was divided up into plots, was postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That auction was finally hosted on Memorial Day by Glassman Auctions. An 80-acre parcel was auctioned off, which included the building that housed the marketplace.

Dominick Moore, who has fond memories of spending time at Tree-Mendus, purchased the property for $335,000. He said he does not know exactly what the future holds for the farm.

Moore is not a farmer. His family owns Triple D Excavating and Moore, which is located up Eureka Road from Tree-Mendus.

“I grew up there as a kid, and the Teichmans are family friends,” Moore said. “Their son, Will, works for us now. I know he probably hated to see that place go as it did, but at least we can keep some of it so that if his family ever wanted to, they could have some of it.”

Although he is not a farmer, Moore knows that there are a lot of trees in the orchard that need to be removed.

“There are still some good apple trees there and some good cherry trees there,” he said. “As far was reopening the marketplace there, personally, I am not in the same market as someone else for that. We may possibly lease it out as a market or just rent it out as farmland as far as the orchards and the fields go.”

He added that things could change. He knows that there are already people who are interested in the property.

“People have already asked me if I would sell it,” Moore said. “I would rather not, though. It has a huge potential with the marketplace that is there. It could be a restaurant or anything. A brewery. It has a lot of potential. That is down the road. I would like to keep the land and everything though, so I do not see it going anywhere. It is some of the best pieces of land you will ever find in the area.”

Moore said that he did not buy the property for himself. He bought it so that the property could be used by the people — but just what that use will be is still up on the air.

Buchanan

Area schools offer virtual learning

News

When virus stunted west coast tour, Umphrey’s McGee returned home to perform

Berrien County

LMC discounts fall tuition by 10 percent, restructures class options, implements safety plans for fall semester

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Union Schools recognize retiring staff

Cassopolis HS

Senior bios: Cassopolis’ Malik Jamison

Newsletter Sports

Staten heading to University of Toledo

Dowagiac

Dowagiac, Cassopolis awarded NEP grants

Education

Former Niles resident aims to donate 500 backpacks with school supplies

Cass County

Lawless Park to celebrate Michigan Dark Sky Awareness Month by opening on weekend nights

Berrien County

Outdoor prom event set for Aug. 1

Business

5 Mile Drive-In offering free entry to first responders on Fourth of July

Berrien County

Gov. Whitmer closes indoor service at bars throughout lower Michigan, allows cocktails to go

Dowagiac

SMC to continue in person instruction during fall semester

Sports

Staten reportedly hired by Toledo

Cassopolis

URSCC purchases photo album of Calvin Township, Vandalia residents

Cassopolis

Underground Railroad Days canceled due to COVID-19

Columns

MATHEWS: FOC orientation program goes virtual

Columns

HAVLICEK: Michigan’s unemployment system is facing unprecedented filings

News

West Woods resident commemorates 100th birthday, one month COVID-free

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Fire Department offers Fourth of July safety tips

Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Advocates for education freedom, teachers back Brad Paquette for State House

Obituaries

Clare ‘Kay’ L. Richard, of Cassopolis

Obituaries

Ann W. File, of Vandalia

Obituaries

Willie Pasley