In the heart of a busy village, the Ephraim Preserve at Anderson Pond is a quiet refuge of wetlands, fields, forest and escarpment. The history of this preserve is intimately connected with that of Ephraim.
In 1853, Rev. Andreas Iverson, a Norwegian missionary, arrived at Eagle Harbor with his small congregation. Struck by the beauty of the densely forested wilderness, Iverson and his congregation established a tiny village named Ephraim. Despite sickness, crop failure, isolation and bitterly cold winters, the villagers persevered. Others joined them, including a hard-working Norwegian named Aslag Anderson.
In 1858, Iverson and Anderson entered into an agreement that Anderson would build a deep-water pier for the village. In exchange, Iverson sold him 110 acres of land at its original cost—$1.15 per acre.
Anderson completed the pier the next year as well as a house, barn, and general store. He then cleared land around a pond for farming. That pond and its surroundings are now the Ephraim Preserve at Anderson Pond. What was once a farm now provides shelter for migrating and nesting birds. Wildflowers bloom in the spring, and magnificent trees stand on portions of the land that were never cleared. A craggy section of the Niagara Escarpment cuts across the eastern edge. As a nature preserve, this historic land retains its connection with the Anderson family name and will forever remain a place of beauty and solitude.