ACRES Land Trust
Sunday, December 04, 2016
State Dedicated Nature Preserve - Division of Nature Preserves, Indiana-DNR
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ACRES Quarterly
 Edna W. Spurgeon Woodland Reserve
(Noble County)
9478 N. 600 W, Ligonier, IN 46767


















Download Map From Preserve Guide

Our first preserve, this was a gift from Edna W. Spurgeon in 1961.

65 acres with a 1.2 mile trail system.

All 65 acres have been dedicated through IDNR's Division of Nature Preserves.

Locally known as "The Knobs," this is ACRES' first nature preserve. The Reserve is as interesting geologically as it is beautiful. The glaciers left low ridges of kame - stratified layers of sand - and a few boulders. Ravines were carved into the kame ridges from glacial meltwater. The wildflower carpet is a spectacular mix of white large-flowered trillium, blue-eyed Marys, bloodroot, hepatica, celandine poppy, dutchman's breeches and squirrel corn. A climax forest of beech and sugar maple, the preserve has the second largest tulip poplars in the state.

Edna Walker Spurgeon was one of those rare individuals who saw the value of her woods in its unique qualities and beauty rather than its economic value.


The beech, sugar maple and tulip trees on this property are among the largest in the state. The Spurgeon and Walker family roots are almost as deep as the trees in this area: they were among the first settlers in Noble County.


Edna Walker married Theodore J. Spurgeon, a WWI veteran who had served in France. Her father-in-law, Amon Spurgeon, was a life-long resident of Elkhart Township in Noble County. His 1918 obituary stated he was "one of its most prominent and public-spirited citizens and successful farmers; his word was always as good as a government bond." The Spurgeon family owned about 400 acres in the area of the present day preserve. Edna's mother, Sarah Lepird Walker, was born a little over a mile from the Spurgeon homestead.


Theodore, Edna and three others were early conservationists who in 1925 purchased the land where the preserve is now located in order to protect the woods. After Theodore's death in 1959, Edna sought a more permanent protection that would ensure the woods would remain in their present state after her death. In 1962, she was pleased to learn that her land nestled in northern Noble County had been named the Edna Spurgeon Woodland Reserve in her honor. It has the distinction of being the very first of over 80 nature preserves that are now protected by ACRES Land Trust.


The Spurgeon reserve is comprised of 65 wooded acres with simple path trails surrounded by agricultural fields, younger woods and old pastures. Locally known as "The Knobs," it has linear ridges of gravel and sand from the last glacier. The preserve provides great habitat for migratory warblers and the redheaded woodpecker.


Edna's favorite time of year must have been springtime when the woods are a magnificent display of colors. Large-flowered and sessile trillium, blue-eyed Mary, bloodroot, hepatica, celandine poppy, Dutchman's breeches and squirrel corn cover the ground beneath the mighty trees.


Edna lived to the age of 92 and was buried next to Theodore in nearby Lake Park Cemetery.


Cheers to the Edna W. Spurgeon Woodland Reserve for achieving its half century anniversary - and to the woman who made this milestone possible.


By Terri Gorney

2012 ACRES Fall Quarterly 

Hover over each image in the slideshow below to read its caption.


Edna W. Spurgeon Woodland Reserve
Photos by Art Eberhardt of Angola, IN 2002, 2003


Preserves in the News

The People Behind the Preserves - Edna W. Spurgeon Woodland Reserve
By Terri Gorney with Introduction and Photos by Steve Sass - The Plant Press