Historic property now on market


By Debra Sigel

Nestled in the woods on the south side of Main Street lies a pristine farm just east Keystone Parkway with a large white Greek Revival house.

On the same 8.5-acre property, a 184-year-old cabin still stands in defiance of time and the Indiana climate.

The oldest surviving building from Carmel’s pioneer days is now on the market after the long-time land owner, Jack Fehrenbach, died and his survivors decided to put it up for sale.

The two-story poplar log cabin was built in 1829 by John Kinzer. He was the first man to obtain a land patent for 160 acres and another in 1834 for 180 acres. Both sheepskin deeds survive to this day and are signed by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, said Suse Fehrenbach Bell, Jack’s daughter.

Today only 8.5 acres remain of the original tracts.

Kinzer married Ruth Wilkinson in 1830 and they raised seven children. As his farm grew and prospered Kinzer decided his family needed a house more suitable to his family’s needs than a log cabin. He built a two story Greek Revival home in the late 1840s, which he located next to the original log cabin. The log cabin was to be used as storage.

The Kinzer family sold the home and 100 acres to Harry Van Arsdale of Indianapolis in the 1930s. He did extensive restoration to the buildings and used the property as a weekend home. The property was sold to the Marine family in 1949 and then to the Fehrenbach family in 1967, Fehrenbach Bell said.

The Kinzer Homestead is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Historic American Building Survey, the Indiana Register, and the Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory.

Fehrenbach Bell said her family would like to see the land sold all together, to include the colonial farmhouse, the carriage house, the pioneer cabin, a shed and an old barn that formerly served as a stable. She said her hope is to preserve the land and its historical integrity.

The house is listed at $755,900 with independent real estate agent Harry McLaughlin Jr.

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