Five acres may seem like a small parcel to conserve, but Wheeler Hollow Preserve is special. Its beauty and worth are evident to visitors, but it offers something else, too. Wheeler Hollow adjoins Hiker’s Knob (another OHC property) on two sides. Hiker’s Knob includes part of the Knobstone Trail. This is important. The Hiker’s Knob property could be ideal for an overnight shelter – except that it does not include road access, so building the shelter would be a horrendous affair. The adjacent Wheeler Hollow property does include road access and so offers the possibility of a shelter for the Pioneer section of the Knobstone Trail. We are delighted to be protecting Wheeler Hollow, plain and simple. We are also pleased about its possibilities.
Now for its history. The first record of ownership transfer is dated 1890, when the total of 40 acres sold for $60. Amasa Sweetland bought the farm in 1913. He passed in 1916, and his wife, Laura, was declared insane. Her daughter, Sarah, was a minor and was pronounced of feeble mind. She lived in the county poor house. The land was sold and Amasa’s assets were used to support Laura and Sarah.
Several Wheelers owned the land during the 20th century. Eventually Paul Wheeler came to own it. He and his children have been excellent allies in conserving this land. We thank them for their commitment to conservation.
–Based on John Miller’s article in the Oak Heritage Conservancy 2013 newsletter