A Shelby County farm that has been in existence since the 1850s has received the 2021 John Arnold Award for Rural Preservation by Indiana Landmarks and Indiana Farm Bureau. Owners Kris Meltzer and Karen Meltzer-Armstrong have incorporated the farm’s historic buildings into modern farming operations. The family will be presented with the honor next week during the Indiana State Fair.
“The commitment generations of the family have demonstrated to preserving and maintaining the farm’s heritage is extraordinary,” said Tommy Kleckner, director of Indiana Landmarks’ western regional office.
Indiana Landmarks says the 19th century frame barn still houses farm equipment, hay and straw. A log barn on the farm stores grain. The farmstead also includes an original farmhouse, a log cabin, and a one-room brick schoolhouse.
“The award committee was deeply impressed by the unique and diverse collection of historic agricultural buildings still in use at the Meltzer Farm,” said Kleckner.
Indiana Landmarks says Frederick Meltzer moved from Germany to Shelby County and purchased the homestead in 1857. It’s been farmed continuously by the family ever since.