With clear skies and 80 degree temps (in October, no less!) I just couldn't stay indoors today. The Crooked Lake Nature Preserve lies mostly in Whitley County on the Noble-Whitley county line about half a mile west of State Road 9.
The southern area, which I explored today, is the Lawrence Bishop Memorial Addition and is located on the south side of Little Crooked Lake, off of County Road 600N. This southern area borders the land where my 3rd great grandparents, Jacob and Malissa (Stem) Wise lived. And where her parents, Conrad and Indiana (Sisley) Stem lived on a neighboring farm.
Below is a portion of the 1889 Plat Map of Thorncreek Township, Whitley County. It shows that M. A. Scott (Malissa Ann, married Jacob Scott in 1876) owned 106 acres of land in Section 3 on the south side of Crooked Lake. This land had been purchased by Jacob Wise in August 1849. To the east of the Scott property was C. Stem, who owned 32.5 acres. Conrad had purchased 152 acres (most of that southeast quarter) in December 1853. Nowadays, the majority of their lands have been subdivided into 2-5 acre lots, several are still available for purchase. Some of the houses being built are ridiculously large, especially in light of the current economic situation.
The map below is from the Indiana DNR (Department of Natural Resources). The outlined area encompasses the Crooked Lake Nature Preserve. As always, click on the images to see a larger version. The dotted line on the right is State Road 9 and the dotted line along the bottom is County Road 600N.
A mowed path meanders along the south and east sides of the meadow. It enters the woods on the north side, weaving in and out several times before emerging into the meadow once again on the west side. This first view is looking to the northeast (from the west side of the trail).