NAPPANEE, Ind. (WANE) — For the right price you could own a piece of the historic Amish Acres.
The 28-acre property is up for sale. Schrader Real Estate and Auction Company, Inc. is auctioning off the land for the founder and CEO Richard Pletcher, who after 50 years in business was ready to retire.
“He had a dream,” Schrader Auction Manager for Amish Acres Roger Diehm said. “It’s really great to see his dream come true. If you’ve been in the round barn or ever stepped foot in Amish Acres, you can say it’s a one-of-a-kind property.”
Amish Acres officially closed on Jan. 1, 2020. The historic farm and heritage resort includes a 400-seat restaurant, a 400-seat performing arts theatre, numerous shops, a hotel and more. During the auction on Feb. 5, everything will be sold. The property has been divided up into sections known as tracts so bidders can choose to bid on parts of the property.
Before the property was Amish Acres, it was first the Stahly-Nisley-Kuhns farm. In 1968, the Pletcher family acquired the land at an auction. At the time, Richard Pletcher was the owner of a local furniture store and founder of the local arts and crafts festival. Pletcher’s dream was to preserve the farm, enlighten, educate and entertain inquisitive visitors about Amish history and culture. Then, in 1970, Pletcher’s dream became a reality, as Amish Acres officially opened to the public. Over the next 50 years, the attraction would grow to more than 80 acres.
According to their website, Amish Acres is the only Amish farm listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Over the years, the facility has employed more than 10,000 people and welcomed more than 5 million visitors from across the world.
“It’s an amazing number,” Diehm said. “There are just so many facets to this property and there’s a lot here. It has endless possibilities and we are excited about the future of the property.”
One of the oldest buildings on the property are the log cabins. One cabin serves as a meat market while the other is a soda fountain and fudge shop. The cabins were originally built between 1853 and 1860 and were relocated to Amish Acres in the 1970s.
There were rumors and reports that celebrity designer Joanna Gaines was interested in the historic property. According to Diehm, it is actually Gaines’s construction manager who is interested in buying one of the log cabins to be moved back to Texas.
Overall, Diehm says he’s stayed busy and expects hundreds to turn up for the auction.
Sixty of the farm’s eighty acres was recently purchased by the Nappanee Power from the Past, a non-for-profit antique tractor club. The purchase included the 18 historical and restored buildings. The 146-year-old farmstead will be preserved for years to come. Everything else is up for sale.
There will be an open house on Feb. 4 from 1-3 p.m. Amish Acres will then be auctioned off Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 6 p.m. Anyone interested in bidding should register day-of.
For more information about the property click here. To learn more about the history of Amish Acres click here.