ACRES Land Trust has acquired a 116-acre spread in DeKalb County, about 5 miles northeast of Huntertown. It is the 93rd ACRES preserve.
The land, called Heinzerling Family Five Points Nature Preserve, was originally purchased in 1920 by Carl Heinzerling, co-founder of the Creek Chub Bait Co. His son Harry used to set trap lines on the property and sell furs at his father’s hardware store, according to Lettie Haver with ACRES.
The Heinzerling family used the land for picnics and just romping in the woods. It included a clubhouse and a maple syrup shack.
Four surviving Heinzerling siblings – Gretel Smith of Garrett; Derek Heinzerling of Albuquerque, New Mexico; Johana Gordon-Byanski of Ohio; and Katrina Custer of Garrett, recently reunited at the property to reminisce on playing in the woods and finding snakes, mussels, turtles and fish and swinging from vines.
The land includes wetlands, agricultural acreage and a small forested wetland system. Black Creek, which flows into Little Cedar Creek and then Cedar Creek, flows through the property, Haver said.
About half the land is still agricultural property, but that will be phased out over the next five years. The land will be restored to its native nature and reforested, Haver said. Trails also will be developed.
The land was purchased for ACRES with a $245,000 grant from Indiana’s Bicentennial Nature Trust, $10,000 from the Indiana Heritage Trust and assistance from an anonymous Allen County couple.
Land can go to ACRES through an outright donation, a bargain sale in which the owner gets a tax break, or through sale at market value.