Home > awards, fairs, farms, Indiana, Indianapolis, Indy > Johnson County Family Farm Wins Rural Preservation Award

Johnson County Family Farm Wins Rural Preservation Award

Hopewell Farm

The Hopewell Farm in Johnson County. Photo provided by Indiana Landmarks Center.

Guest Blogger:
Tommy Kleckner, Indiana Landmarks Center

On Farmers’ Day (August 17) at the Indiana State Fair, the Van Nuys family received the 2011 Arnold Award for Rural Preservation from Indiana Landmarks and Indiana Farm Bureau. Kathleen Van Nuys is the current steward of the Hopewell farm that has been in the Van Nuys family for more than 160 years.

Kathleen Van Nuys—the fourth generation owner—oversees the 272-acre operation that includes over 100 sheep, nearly 240 acres of crops, 10 historic outbuildings and the original family home.

“The Van Nuys family has preserved the historic agricultural buildings with respect for the heritage and the use of the property as an operating farm,” said Tommy Kleckner, Director of Indiana Landmarks’ Western Regional Office.

Kathleen Van Nuys lives in the c.1866 homestead which combines Italianate and Greek Revival-style architecture in bricks made in the pasture across the road. The house has steadily been updated with modern amenities, and a 1900 clapboard addition. Large wrought iron rings where visitors could tie a horse and carriage can still be found on either side of the front sidewalk.

Other preserved farm buildings include the “pigeon house,” chicken house and four double hog houses. The buggy shed, corn crib and workshop predate the house’s construction. The homestead and the original six acres were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.

As the eldest of three generations of Van Nuys in Indiana, Kathleen expects to pass the farm to her son and grandson. She relies on farm tenants Stan and Stanley Poe, who share her stewardship and preservation ethic.

Kathleen Van Nuys along with her son Rev. Dr. John Van Nuys and grandson Sam Van Nuys accepted the Arnold Award on Wednesday morning during the Old-Fashioned Pancake Breakfast on Main Street. Indiana Landmarks’ President Marsh Davis and Don Villwock, President of Indiana Farm Bureau, joined Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman in presenting the award.

The annual award is named in memory of John Arnold (1955-1991), a Rush County farmer committed to preserving Indiana’s rural heritage.

For more information about the award and nominations for the 2012 Arnold Award for Rural Preservation, contact Tommy Kleckner at Indiana Landmarks, 812-249-3116, tkleckner@indianalandmarks.org.

Editor’s Acknowledgment: Jen Schmits Thomas, JTPR, Inc.

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