Source: Ruth Brubaker, LAKETON - YESTERDAY AND TODAY FOR THE YEARS 1836-1976, pp. 73-76.


Pleasant Township has lost many of the schools to consolidation, but still has many natural features that as long as they are preserved and protected will always stay there. These include several nearby lakes, Eel River, several creeks and one of the best natural areas found anywhere, the Laketon Bog, situated along the northeast side of the town. The significance of this area has very recently mushroomed into state wide recognition acclaimed by William Barnes, the State Natural Area Director, ACRES Inc., of Fort Wayne and many individual naturalists who come there to study birds, trees, animals, flowers, mosses, and plants, as well as to appreciate the beauty of this easily accessible area.

The open bog area was once so thick with the Tamarack, it was rather hard to walk through. Several boys at that time claim to have cut smaller ones for fish poles to fish in nearby Eel River.

In the years of 1912-13 Frank Ireland purchased this land from Mathias Blocher, whose main farm area lay south across Eel River now owned by Ben Snyder. The price was a little over Ten Dollars per acre. Mr. Ireland proceeded to establish a small rail line into the bog area from the Ogden Road to the west. Nearly all the main area of tamarack trees were cut, stripped, and the poles were loaded on the trolley and drawn out with horses and sold for the scaffold work to support dirt laden railroad cars to build up the high "Erie rail line which lies along the two miles or more west of Laketon. This woodwork was buried as it was filled over. The swampy conditions farther into the bog made it impractical to proceed with this slaughter and one thousand or more tamarack trees were spared.

The bog drew very little attention for several years. Then in 1930 George Frederick purchased the area from Mr. Ireland. He also, as had Mathias Blocher, tried to ditch the area with tile and an open ditch to the river south with very little success. Then Chub Rager came on the scene in the early 1930s and with a Rumely Oil Pull tractor an attempt was made to plow it. The first round he became hopelessly stuck and gave it up. Many of the stumps were still there at this time as they rot very slowly.

Rolly Frederick inherited this bog in 1931 from his father George, who died. He also spent many hours trying to drain, but only succeeded to produce death traps for livestock which was then pastured by Luther Brubaker's cattle, who had recently purchased the 150 acre farm along the north boundary.

In the middle 1930s the Laketon Conservation Club was formed and with an immediate need of cheap durable club building material, attention again was focused on the stand of remaining tamarack and some where around a hundred more trees were cut, stripped and carried out by hand in 1936-37. These were sawed length wise and used for vertical siding and proved very durable. This building was used as the Conservation Club headquarters for several years; then it fell into disuse for many years, and almost lost from neglect until Darl West took a long lease on the property, restored it to its former glory and it is presently used.

Upon the passing of Rollo Frederick, his widow had no desire to keep the bog. So in 1970 Mr. and Mrs. Lee Brubaker purchased it. This was done to prevent other interested parties from establishing a community dump or landfill operation. The price at this time had gone to One Hundred Dollars per acre and was then established as a permanent natural area and wildlife sanctuary.

In 1972 and again in 1975 parcels of land to the east, northeast have been added to the original twenty-two acres which makes a total of seventy acres, including one half mile of Otter Creek and one half mile of Eel River, with the whole area being called "Laketon Bog Natural Area."

No one is allowed to take anything but pictures and leave nothing but footprints, but it is open anytime to interested parties who want to enjoy the two miles of trails by walking.