German settler’s homestead house and farm – Open House

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SALINE COUNTY, Neb. – The descendants of a German settler are beginning to restore a nearly 150-year-old home on a family farm along the Swan Creek.

Michael and Christina Witt settled the land in 1861 and built the fakwerkbau,” or “half-timbered house” in 1868. The house was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1980 and was noted as the only house of its type in Nebraska.

The Witts and their descendants have farmed the land for the last 154 years.

Kay Kottas, Witt’s great-great granddaughter owns the Witt’s End Homestead farm today and operates it with the help of her husband, Joe, and several employees. The Aksarben Foundation and the Saline County Fair board are scheduled to honor Kottas and Witt’s other descendants with a 2015 Heritage Farm Award, which recognizes farms that have remained in the same family for 150 years. The ceremony is planned for 8:30 p.m. July 15 at Tuxedo Park in Crete. The family will receive a gatepost marker noting the designation.

The public is invited to tour the house and the farm from 2 to 5 p.m. July 18. The farm is located near Western at 1225 County Road U, about one and one-fourth miles east of State Highway 15.

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