Learn the History of Your Property to Increase the Value of Your Land
When Forest-Recreation Lands Are Worth More
Editor’s Note: Every property bought and sold today has a history. Who were the people who lived on the land before it was sold? What were their occupations? What role did they play in the history of the area, the state and/or the nation? If you know the history of the people and the land, the value of the property is worth far more than the dirt, the timber, the wildlife and the scenery on it today.
Watching the early-morning mist rise up off the pasture and disappear into the macabre-looking oaks with their flowing gray Spanish moss, I could feel the ghosts of days gone by and a sense of history of the land and the people who lived and hunted there long ago as you hunted turkeys. I could imagine hearing the old generals talking about great battles and the brave men who lived and died under their authority. I also could imagine the voice of General Eisenhower remembering World War II, his problems with General Pattonand General Montgomery and the hard decisions he had to make to keep them both in line; and the voice of England’s Queen Elizabeth II as she discussed the early years of her reign, the post-war years and the reconstruction of her nation after World War II and Germany’s Blitzkrieg.
The turkey hunt I participated in during the spring of 2007 took place on hallowed ground hunted by the mighty and the powerful. The turkeys had ancestors that had entertained and fed some of the mightiest warriors of their day. This outdoor experience was more than a turkey hunt. It was an opportunity to walk where greats had walked, hunt where greats had hunted and become a part of the land once owned by a mighty warrior.
These lands were previously owned by General James A. Van Fleet, a general during the Korean and Vietnam wars. This south-Florida property, which is now owned by the Frasier family, was where General Van Fleet entertained all the major generals of the Korean and Vietnam Wars and where President Eisenhower came to hunt as well as Queen Elizabeth II and the President of Korea. After Van Fleet retired from the Armed Services, he built the house where visitors stayed, slept and ate.
Van Fleet was such a popular general in Korea that his exploits are still taught today in history classes in Korea. Van Fleet was more than a conquering warrior. He really cared about the people of Korea. He believed that cattle would play an important role in helping get the country struggling economy back on a firm footing after the war. Van Fleet raised Brahma cattle on his ranch in Florida and shipped those cattle to the farmers of Korea to help rebuild their country. The Frasier family farm, owned today by Donald Frasier, still runs cattle on the ranch like Van Fleet did. General Van Fleet’s house has become a hunting lodge, and the wildlife that once provided sport and food for some of the most-powerful leaders of the world still can be hunted there today.
The Frasier family farm is more than just property. It’s a classic example of how history can play a major role in increasing the value of any forest-recreation land.
Tomorrow: When Bricks Are More than Bricks