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Auction Report: Historic property changing hands
NEW HARMONY, Ind. — One of Indiana’s largest contiguous farms will soon be under new ownership. Eight buyers have purchased Ribeyre Island, which is actually a 3,315-acre peninsula across the Wabash River from New Harmony, Ind.

The property was first owned by German immigrant, George Rapp, who founded New Harmony.

The L. Eugene Smith Estate, only the fifth owner of the property, offered the property for sale.

The entire property as well as a grain elevator in nearby Griffin, Ind., sold at public auction on December 15, 2005. Jeff Laskey and Brad Horrall of Schrader Auction Company said the sellers were happy with the results.

The total property sold for $3,655,000, or just over $1,100 per acre. One large interior chunk of farmland, consisting of 2,241 acres with 1,500 acres irrigated, sold for $1,275 per acre. Remaining hunting land along the Old Channel of the Wabash River as well as the current river averaged $745 per acre.

The sale price was strong, considering that the property was in a flood plain, isolated, and sold without mineral rights.

While this property was unique, Laskey said typical land in the area is selling well.

“Good tillable land sells strong,” he said. “We’re seeing activity, especially with 1031 tax exchanges.”

Published in the January 4, 2006 issue of Farm World.