We will celebrate Colantha’s historic accomplishments, as well as the urban renewal of The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, a Traverse City landmark. What a wonderful community full of fun-loving foodies, locavores, farmers, artists, preservationists, and environmentalists who bring our Village-wide, family friendly, day-long festival to life.
Of the 96 Holstein-Friesian cows that comprised the former Traverse City State Hospital’s herd, Colantha was by far the most prolific. In 1926, she produced 22,918 pounds of milk in a single year, making her the highest producer in the world! In her lifetime, from 1916 to 1932, her total production was 200,114.9 pounds of milk. According to a Federal census during that same year, the State average production was only 3,918 lbs. of milk per cow per year!
Colantha was so revered by hospital staff and patients that upon her death in 1932, a banquet was held in her honor, and a beautifully carved memorial stone was placed at her gravesite near the south end of the Commons property.
The former hospital facility, complete with magnificent historic buildings, massive barns, farmland and crop-land, was built in 1884 and remained in operation until 1989. The facility prided itself in becoming virtually self-sustainable through careful management of its crops and livestock. It is here, near the site of the historic cathedral barn, where Colantha Walker spent her bucolic life, lovingly tended to by the renowned staff and caretakers of the historic barns.