Oak Springs Farm


Oak Springs farm, owned by Dominick Mader, got its name from the water which was piped from springs in the hills. On Oak Springs was a big two-story farm house with an open front porch on three sides. A wood canopy extended from the side of the house so one could drive a horse and buggy up to the house without getting wet. The road came to the farm from the east. In winter, the Mader family drove by the County Home because the farm road was too hard to plow out.

Inside the house was a beautiful open oak stairway which led to the upper floor. The stairway had a closet beneath it. Off the kitchen was a second back stairway which was used by Arthur, being the oldest, while the other children used the front stairs. A third stairway went to a full attic. There were four bedrooms upstairs and one downstairs with a fireplace in each one. Later, a furnace was installed in the basement and enclosed in brick so the heat wouldn’t escape. The house was cold in winter. (The farm house stood north of Hass Park where 3012 Willow St. is today.)

The Mader family lived in the house from 1909 to 1919 when Dominick sold the farm on a land contract to partners Hyde and Funk. They bought the farm with the idea of making money and tried several unsuccessful ventures.

On land below the house and also extending into Hass’s land, they built a one-mile harness racing track with a grandstand. The city extended the street car line to go out to the track. In this area there was a little lake where Doerflingers had a cottage. Due to a lot of wet weather the track because too muddy and they could not make a success of it.

They invested in cattle but the bull died and that didn’t work out. Then they went into tobacco and put up big tobacco sheds. When that failed they dissolved the partnership and the farm returned to Dominick. His sons, Dominick Jr. and Arthur, moved back to run the farm. They purchased the farm upon the death of their father in 1934.