Not many hunters can say they’ve hunted a property that has been in the same family’s hands for more than 150 years. But those who have hunted at Heritage 1865, in Promise City, Iowa, can. According to Travis Ewing, the seventh-generation owner of Heritage 1865: “Many of our family’s early hunts were not documented with photos, because personal cameras were not available.” Travis is the great-great-great-grandson of Samuel Ewing, who purchased the land in 1865 for $19.12 per acre. “The habitat at the beginning was so different that my ancestors were shooting prairie chickens and sharp-tailed grouse instead of the pheasants for which Iowa is known today,” Travis said. “In fact, pheasants did not even exist in the US back then.” It’s possible that the earliest Ewings would not even recognize the current property, with its larger fields and tree plantations. “The hunting has changed a bunch too,” according to Travis’s wife, Abby. “We used to have only the family hunting here until we built the lodge, in 2010. Now we host hunters from all over the country.”
Heritage 1865 guests come first and foremost to enjoy the lodge’s world-class wingshooting, accommodations, dining and hospitality. However, the opportunity to learn about the property’s long and interesting history ends up being one of the biggest takeaways.
“Our ancestors would be both blown away and super proud of the interest our guests take in the origins of the property and our business,” Travis said. “They worked hard to make something of this land, and it’s an honor to keep the ball rolling.”
Heritage 1865 is a Shooting Sportsman Endorsed Lodge. To learn more, visit Heritage 1865.