When Stella Creque allowed her teenage son Harold to plant strawberry seeds in her garden, it was the 1940’s, the world was at war, and she and her husband Fred were raising six children.
Today, there are dozens of Creque descendants in Sylvania, a thriving family farm business, and three and a half acres of strawberry plants.
It was a long time ago when that junior at Sylvania Burnham High School planted five rows of strawberries in his mother’s garden. But the strawberry patch was well tended, and it flourished over the years. As the little white flowers blossom this spring a new generation takes over their care.
“We want our boys to each have their own part of the business, to manage and call their own,” explained Eileen Creque recently. “So it’s all their’s from start to finish.”
Mrs. Creque’s husband, Jeff, is Harold Creque’s nephew. Jeff’s father Romain, who passed away in 2009, was Harold’s brother. Jeff and Eileen Creque’s two sons, Brian and Tom, have taken over responsibility for two major areas of the farm. Son Brian is in charge of the mulch, a job deserving of its own story.
Tom Creque, who has gotten married and become a father, now takes over for his great-uncle Harold and becomes the caretaker of the strawberry patch.
“You want your children to have their own sense of accomplishment,” Mrs. Creque said. “And Tom has really taken ownership. He has installed a new drip irrigation process that he really likes, and he is in charge of the growing, the marketing, taking care of the migrants, everything.”
“I feel kind of bad, everyone comes in to the retail part and complements me on how beautiful it all is,” said Mrs. Creque. “But my guys are the ones growing everything, working out in the fields, making me look good.”
Mrs. Creque has taken over for Aunt Kay (Harold’s wife) who used to go to Whitmer decades ago and get strawberry recipes printed on pink paper by the student print shop there. Now, Mrs. Creque hands out recipes for sugar-free pies, and has many strawberry recipes on the Creque’s Greenhouse website.
The Creque family came to Sylvania and began farming around 1900, and today Creque’s Greenhouse is a well-known favorite for plants, flowers, gardening and landscaping supplies, and delicious strawberries.
Excerpt from Sylvania's new history and trivia book--page 239 of the "Sautter's Special! After All These Years, Ohio's Still Cooking, Sylvania 2020 Edition." Now available for purchase at Sautter's Market or online at SimplySylvania.org.
Mrs. Creque's Strawberry Pie
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp white corn syrup
3 oz. package strawberry Jell-O
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup water
1 quart strawberries
1 ½ cups flour
2 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ cup oil
Mix crust ingredients and press into a 9” pie pan. Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown. Cook sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup and water until thick and clear. Remove from heat and add strawberry Jell-O. Let cool. Add fresh strawberries. Stir and pour into baked pie shell. Top with whipped cream.
SPOTLIGHT ON 1912
The Creque family began farming in Sylvania around the turn of the century, and by 1912 they were well established and growing. Also occurring that year in Sylvania, in Ohio, and around the world:
October 9 is declared Fire Prevention Day in Ohio, marking the 41st anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire.
Sylvania High School has 9 seniors, 19 juniors, 20 sophomores, and 21 freshmen.
Sylvania merchants host a Big Bargain Carnival in the fall, about 700 families attend, Mrs. Dana Chandler wins a plow given away by Frank Koepfer.
The Congregational Church hosts a Feast & Frolic on October 25.
A Republican rally is held at Hine’s Hall on Oct. 26, a Progressive rally is held there the next week.
Elections are Nov. 5, Democrats win the Whitehouse (Woodrow Wilson) and Ohio’s governorship.
A parade of 1,200 free masons goes from The Boody House to the Valentine Theatre.
In Ohio and Michigan newspapers Canada is advertising free land, 160-acre farms in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, applications for The American Rush to Western Canada are available at the Canadian agent office in Toledo.
The Ohio National Guard is called to Columbus to enforce a quarantine after a diphtheria epidemic breaks out. In Dayton schools are closed and public gatherings banned for the same reason.
In Lucas County 691 divorce applications were filed, 308 were granted on the grounds of absence & neglect, drunkenness, or infidelity.
167 foreigners were nationalized in Lucas County, up from 106 in 1911.
Federal Spending is at .69 billion, unemployment is 4.6 percent, and a stamp costs two cents.
Popular songs are Everybody Two-Step, When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, and Alexander’s Ragtime Band by Irving Berlin.
Tokyo gives 3,000 cherry trees to be planted in Washington, D.C. Later Japan would also give D.C. a 300-year old stone lantern, and a stone pagoda, all to symbolize the peace and friendship brought on by the 1854 Japan-US Treaty of Amity and Friendship signed by Commodore Matthew C. Perry.
The RMS Titanic strikes an iceberg in the northern Atlantic and sinks.
Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts opens, and the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Giants to win the World Series.
Edgar Rice Burroughs publishes "Tarzan of the Apes". The first Keystone Cops film debuts.
The bust of Queen Nefertete is found in El-Amarna, Egypt.
The Dixie cup is invented.
Both Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures go into business and become corporations.
Danny Thomas, Jackson Pollack, Eva Braun, Pat Nixon, Karl Malden, Sonja Henie, Ben Hogan, Studs Terkel, Perry Como, John Cheever, Sam Snead, Woody Guthrie, Art Linkletter, Gene Kelly, Carlo Ponti, and Julia Child are born.
Wilbur Wright, Harriet Quimby, Joseph Lister, Felix Dahn, Clara Barton, Bram Stoker, Robert F. Scott, and John Jacob Aster IV die.
Sylvania Neighborhood Facebook Group
private, for current & former residents and fans of Tree City (& Township)
A little bit of light local news you can use-
Sylvania News on Facebook
Follow for Sylvania events, news alerts, shopping & dining, faith gatherings, giving opportunities, school news, local history, and more
New in 2020: