Posted by Lindsay Hodge, Public Relations Volunteer
Kevin and Christy Anderson officially opened The Mason Jar Gathering Barn for business early in 2015. Christy's plans for their barn had been rolling around in her head for some time before that, and she even hosted events before they opened for business. However, it was her daughter's wedding that gave them the catalyst they needed in order to turn their old-fashioned barn into what it is today. They ripped out old fluorescent lights, dressed up the inside and made their barn into an event center.
Just three months after that first event, the Anderson's property was threatened by the fire that ripped through the area last year. Christy and Kevin both feel like God had spared them for the purpose of bringing families and friends together at The Mason Jar. What a blessing it is, too! The Mason Jar can host just about any event, from a baby shower to a prom to a wedding or luncheon. There are many different amenities that you can add on, including a bride's room.
Christy and Kevin try to keep things real and easy. They offer a no-pressure experience and their motto is to try to cater to every clients need. “We don't want anyone to leave here and say, 'Man, I wish I had asked for (fill in the blank).'”
The Mason Jar Gathering Barn is quickly becoming the most popular event center around. They are booked nearly every weekend until Christmas and they even have a few reservations for early next year! As their popularity grows, so will the barn. The couple has big plans for expanding the barn and putting in a beautiful gazebo.
Here's an excerpt from my interview with them:
How long have you been in Onalaska?
All in all, about 22 years. My family has all kind of migrated to the area all around us.
What's your most favorite part about hosting these events?
The people. Families. Getting to know their stories. It's maybe even seeing that there are two families that don't get along with each other and being able to help folks get through issues. You get to see so many family dynamics and we've felt like we have been here to help and share our faith. Even if its a couple of seconds, we get to share these moments and our love for Jesus Christ with folks. That is the best part.
What's your least favorite part about it?
It is time consuming, and some times it takes away from my family. We both work full-time jobs outside of the barn, and nearly all of our weekends are booked into January of next year. We've had to bring in my daughter-in-law, Samantha Hutchison, and my daughter Karlee to help with different things so that I don't get overwhelmed.
Why did you decide to call it The Mason Jar Gathering Barn?
Well, I have a thing for mason jars. My mom always had jars around and so do I. A friend at work, suggested it because of that, and really it just fit. We decided to have the “Gathering Barn” bit because we really want it to be a place for families to come together.
What makes you different from other event centers?
We are a little different than most places because we aren't so focused on making money. We want to provide a really great experience. We want folks to come together and really enjoy themselves. We also try to find local businesses that will work with our clients and give them good deals.
For more information about The Mason Jar Gathering Barn, visit their Facebook page by clicking here, or by copying and pasting the link below.
Onalaska Alliance would like to invite the community and interested persons to a Ribbon Cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the Carlisle Lake Restroom Project.
Date: May 21, 2016
Location: Carlisle Lake Parking Lot, Onalaska, Wa
The bathroom project at Carlisle Lake, which began in the spring of 2015, is now complete. Onalaska Alliance, a community non profit and landowner of the Carlisle Lake property, partnered with Lewis County in the use of 09 funds to finance the project. Another 09 fund project was paving the parking lot.
The bathroom project was designed to accommodate small and large groups of people using the lake for recreation. Carlisle Lake is open for trout fishing and is stocked by Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. There is also a one mile trail around the scenic lake which includes areas of wetland, timber, and open meadow. Locals often take daily walks around the trail to view the lake and stand under the tall, historic smokestack from the old Carlisle Mill.
The 5 stall bathroom is a great addition to the development of Carlisle Lake as a community park. It will also be used during the annual Apple Harvest Festival, held the first weekend of October. Participants in the Apple Fun Run/Walk will appreciate this convenience and more events will now be able to be held at this location. Onalaska Alliance has future plans to build a community playground and picnic areas, and to continue to develop the trail system.
Here we have another submission from our resident bird guru, Larry Gessele. This was submitted on April 20th.
"A pair of Wood Ducks have arrived on the little pond above Carlisle Lake. Beautiful birds but very shy. If you approach the north end of the lake quietly and slowly and if you are lucky you might be able to see them. They fly away quickly when you get close"
Thanks again Larry!
Bird watcher, Larry Gessele submitted these photos for you visual pleasure on April 19th. He says,
"The Yellowthroat Warblers are busy around Carlisle Lake this morning. These small warblers have a distinctive call and a bright yellow throat band. Definitely a challenge to see and even more of a challenge to photograph but well worth it when you do."
Thanks Larry for your efforts! You are awesome.
You've got it! We really do need your help. We are a volunteer run organization and that means that we can't be awesome without you.
If you have had a great, good, or otherwise awesome experience in our community, we'd like to hear about it. If you want to share a photo without a story, that's great too. If you have an event and would like to share information or anything at all, please send it our way. Memorials, projects, even politics. We would like to see this blog become a community message board.
Here's what you need to do:
We will review all submissions and we reserve the right to censor any inappropriate language or images. Let's keep it family friendly folks! If your post has been approved, we will let you know when it goes live so you can share it with all your friends and family.
Thanks in advance for your contributions. We couldn't do this without you!
So much has happened in the past year at Carlisle Lake! We are excited to have completed several much needed projects to make the park and trail much more accessible and user friendly. Click on the "Read More" button below to find out more about some of the changes that have taken place.
As Grand Marshals at the Apple Harvest Festival, we get to honor Chuck and Gail by writing an article about them here and in our event guide, and by having them ride on our main float.
Chuck and Gail Wrzesinski were high school sweethearts in Billings, Montana where there were 12 students in each of their graduating classes.
They traveled the road to Onalaska 54 years ago, when Chuck came to teach 8th grade in the Onalaska School District. Chuck and Gail arrived on August 21,1961. The Wrezinski's came from Ryegate, MT, and their journey included three children - Brian, Lance and Laurie. Once here in Onalaska, they added Barry and Jamie to the family. During the early years in Onalaska the Wrzesinski family lived in “school” housing and then bought a 20 acre farm north of town. In 1972 they bought the famous “Carlisle House” where they...
This article was originally published in our 2015 Harvest Festival Event Guide. A special thanks to Marsha L. for her efforts in helping to put this one together!
This article was first published in out 2015 Harvest Festival Event Guide. Thanks to the folks at Hampton for all their support!
Hampton: Proud to be a part of the Lewis County Family.
Hampton operates the Morton and Randle sawmills providing direct and indirect family wage jobs in Lewis County.
Hampton is a family owned forest products company, headquartered in Portland, Oregon employing about 1,500 people in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. The company owns 100,000 acres of Pacific Northwest timber lands which are managed on a sustainable basis and certified through the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).
We believe our employees are our greatest resource, and we strive to provide a safe work environment and a secure future for them, their families and the community in general. We are proud of our employees’ community activities and look forward to our ongoing commitment to be good Lewis County citizens.
Onalaska Alliance Blog, News, and Updates
We want this to become a community message board. If you would like to share an experience, photo, or announcement, please check out this post for instructions.