We initiated plans on our agricultural and event barn in August of 2008. We received our certificate of occupancy in March of 2011. It has been a long process but as we see the final result it has certainly been worth the wait. This has been a very personal project for us. Both family and friends have been intimately involved throughout this project. Most of the work has been custom and we have had some very talented people helping us.
Our event barn is actually a two story farm barn with space for livestock, storage, and a farm shop in the lower level and a fully finished and conditioned loft space on the upper level for events. The lower level has a wide drive through aisle with three livestock stalls and with the barn nestled into the side of one of our rolling pastures the loft or event level is conveniently entered at ground level.
We have been able to supply the largest share of the wood used for this barn from our own property. This wood has included hemlock, locust, and poplar. We had a number of large old hemlock trees and like so many other hemlocks here in the mountains these were dying from wooley adalgid infestation. We elected to harvest these trees early and prior to their developing “shake”. Nearly all of the logs were of good quality for saw logs. A portable sawmill was set up and we were able to cut enough lumber from these logs to board and batten the entire outside of our barn building with 5/4 rough sawn wide board hemlock. In the process of harvesting trees we also removed some very old and dying locust trees. These yielded some remarkably high grade lumber that we had finished for our decks and for the entire loft floor. This floor has now been sanded and finished and has taken on a unique and wonderful appearance and being locust it will clearly be very durable. A number of the locust logs were also finished and used as post supports for the porch and deck. The posts have given these areas and the outside of the barn a very unique and rustic appearance. The pickets and railings between these posts are a mixture of locust and oak and are a good example of the personal design and excellent craftsmanship that our carpenters have put into this project. The third wood that we were able to supply from our property was poplar which was used for the ceiling inside the loft and the rafters on the porch and deck. We have resurfaced old and reclaimed oak barn and fence boards for the loft wall paneling. All of the wood is finished for a natural look and all in all there is clearly “a lot of wood” in this loft event space. We tried to stay as true as possible to a barn built in the early 1900s. Our Clients and their families and guests have all commented that the combination of beautiful woods gives the space a very warm, unique, and rustic appearance.
In the loft of the barn we have a large open gathering room with a multifunctional stage/ceremony/seating area at one end and a catering kitchen, women’s and men’s bathrooms, and a dressing room at the other end. Overhead is a very interesting mixture of round exposed duct work, ¾ inch steel cross rods, simple fans and old farm building type down lights, two interesting cupolas and we have now added some beautiful commercial type decorative lighting. A rod supported storage shelf running along both long walls of the barn displaying various old farm/barn items finishes out the old barn loft feel.
Our permitted catering kitchen is large and very well equipped. It contains a commercial two door refrigerator, a freezer, an ice machine, microwave, convection oven, warming cabinet, two compartment sink and a beverage counter with sink. It is also equipped with a commercial dishwasher and this allows us to supply and maintain the china, glassware and flatware that we offer as part of the rental agreement for our events.
The bathrooms each have four stalls and a combination of rustic wood and iron allows these spaces to blend nicely into the overall appearance and feel of the loft. A bridal party makeup and dressing area is conveniently attached to the women’s bathroom and is very popular with our brides and bridal parties.
There is a 12 x 60 foot porch along the at grade entrance side of the loft and another 12 x 60 foot deck with a wonderful view on the opposite side. These are supported with the locust logs and contained with the rails and pickets reviewed above for a very interesting look.
We are supplying 60 inch round solid quarter sawed red oak tables and these have been made here in the mountains by a very talented long time friend. Our wood chairs are very comfortable and are made in Troutman, North Carolina. Our China is made in the USA by Homer Laughlin.
We have installed a background music system with hand held microphones and I pod capability for regular use and also performance equipment for bands and other performers. We will also have the ability to plug in equipment for visual media
The loft space has been designed to include most of what is important for special occasions including weddings and receptions, social events, banquets, reunions as well as for meetings and seminars. We are now in our third year and could not be more pleased. The planning has all paid off as we have not had to change anything important and our clients, families, and guests comment on how easy it is to have an event here with us.