Next Friday, March 19th, will be a big day for the Alvin and Wilma Borntrager family of Vestaburg, Michigan. That’s when their 80-acre farm – house, equipment, 105 cows – goes up for auction.

Jim Halverson alerted me to this sale listing, which opens with a simple description: “Haveing [sic] decided to move Alvin and his family will be selling the Real Estate, Farm Equipment and Livestock at Public Auction.”

The listing comes with over 200 photos, including many of the home. The images also include the floor plan of this 2-story, 6-bedroom, 3-bath, 3,328-square-foot farmhouse.

Let’s have a look inside. What I like about this first kitchen photo is the mish-mash of chairs. It may be that as the family grew more chairs were added from a variety of sources. This reminds me of the kitchen table of one of my Amish friends, which has its own random patchwork of seating, including a black tilting-and-rolling office chair.

You can catch some modern details in this home, like the “window” from kitchen to living room, the space occupied here by some flowers in this photo.

These plush couches also indicate a more materially progressive group:

I could flop down on one of these on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Compare that to this living area of a plainer Amish home we recently looked at in New York:

Back to the Vestaburg home. This area makes me think of one word: “woodsy”.

Nice second kitchen. What’s that in the jars?

Sewing area.

A closer look.

The master bedroom. This home has white curtains as opposed to the blue we often see.

The bedrooms are not especially fancy, though have some interesting notes.

Green curtains in this one.


You’ve probably noticed the home has fixed gas light installations throughout the downstairs at least, a sign of a more progressive church. Here you have a pretty good view of the double thorium mantle which glows bright and hot when lit.

It does feel Amish, but it’s not the most traditional-looking design on the outside. Elongated, with the two garage doors.

Here we see what’s behind one of those garage doors. It’s a washing area.

They’ve included the floor plans. Here’s the full home.

The first floor. Open these images in a new tab to view the larger size.

Second floor.

A look outside at the garden and some of the buildings.

There are many more photos of the property, equipment, and livestock, but I’m going to keep the focus on the home here. I will just add one of the most interesting remaining shots. I assume this must be Alvin Borntrager showing one of his young Belgians for the camera:

I wonder how much this farm will sell for? I hope the auction goes off well for this family so they can get set up nicely wherever they might be moving.

Amish Cheese

You might also like:


Get the Amish in your inbox

    Question on the Amish? Get answers to 300+ questions in 41 categories at the Amish FAQ.