Parke County’s historical Billie Creek Village will go up for public auction on October 20, as a call for sealed bids has ended with no sale.
The Indianapolis firm Key Auctioneers is in charge of selling the 70-acre property and collection of historic buildings that make up Billie Creek Village.
Vice President and Principal Broker Jeff Doner said it saw “enough interest in pieces and parts” during a sealed bidding process to decide it could get a better price through a public auction.
“We have actually have had some interest in people who’ve said, ‘I’m interested in relocating that old farmhouse’ or ‘this church’ to other historic-type villages,” Doner said.
But Doner also said that separating the buildings from the land is only one option. He says he thinks it is likely that “one or two buyers” will buy all of Billie Creek. What he calls the “core village” could stay intact even if someone else bought the farmhouse and covered bridge that sit on the 40 adjacent acres.
Parke County Community Foundation Executive Director Brad Bumgardner hopes the sale doesn’t mean the end of the village.
“The hope would be that the original mission of education, entertainment, and historic preservation would continue in some way, whether it’s privately held or whether it’s a nonprofit,” he said.
Doner says the firm expects to sell all of the Village’s property on October twentieth. He anticipates the final bid will come in between $800,000 and $1.5 million. Charlie Cooper, the head of the nonprofit board that owns the property, declined to comment for this story.