To the Editor:
The Clifford Spearow Family Farm’s 95th Anniversary Celebration will not be held this year due to the fact that timber was cut in our prime north woods without authorization or contract.
This incident was reported to the sheriff’s office in LaGrange on March 23, 2011. I reported to the sheriff’s department that my sister, Genevieve Helmer, was notified that logs on a flatbed trailer were being towed behind a tractor onto the county road very near the front of our house on 1100E and 2705N. It was also reported to my sister that this tractor had turned onto the road from our property and was headed south. After this report was made, no further activity on the farm was noted.
After further investigation, we discovered that many trees had been destroyed by someone who went into the woods and cut the trees. Many logs and cut up wood laid in an open field and on the floor of the woods in different places. Many stumps from the trees that were fallen were and are evident. Logs and cut up wood still lies there to this day. This vandalism and theft has destroyed the beauty of the landmarks and paths that have been there for many, many years. In these woods were many different kinds of ferns, wildflowers, endangered plant species, saplings, and wetlands that are no more. These species of plants can never be replaced due to the damage to the land that was destroyed by the large tractor that was used to pull logs from the center of the woods to the open field. It was from this open field that logs were placed on a trailer pulled by a tractor and hauled away. The situation regarding the theft and vandalism has not been resolved to this date.
It was our intention to have a celebration of the 95th anniversary of the Spearow Family’s ownership of the property as had been done on October 18, 2008 to celebrate the family’s ownership of the property for 90 years. However, due to this vandalism and theft we will be unable to have this event. The incident has been very wearing, disturbing, and sad for us. The farm was purchased by our grandparents in 1918. Our father, Clifford Spearow and family moved to another home on the property in 1921 and my father purchased the property in the late 1930s. My sister Genevieve and I are the third generation of owners and inherited the property in 1997. We have continuously sought to preserve this land and in particular the virgin woods where the theft occurred. This is where our grandparents and parents lived and spent their lives. To us and our dad this was and still is a very special place.