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Event hall renovations complete at Little Log House Pioneer Village

The event hall has a lighter feel after Lacy Vreeland from Eye Candy Refind in Hastings completed renovations in 2018. Vreeland said she based her design off of what she thought brides today would want in a reception venue. Photo courtesy of Little Log House Pioneer Village. 1 / 2
This is the event hall at the Little Log House Pioneer Village before Lacy Vreeland's renovations. Photo courtesy of Little Log House Pioneer Village2 / 2

Old meets new on a country road running from Miesville to Hastings where, thanks to the dedication of a family, a piece of preserved history stands.

The Little Log House Pioneer Village is a restored pioneer town started by Steve and Sylvia Bauer that today contains more than 45 old and restored buildings.

While the main event of this "village" is the three-day Little Log House Antique Power Show hosted at the end of July, it is also a favorite venue for many couples to tie the knot.

Jessie Tuin, one of the Bauers' three daughters who help run the village, said they never started out with the intention of doing weddings.

In 1995, the congregation of St. Boniface Church in Hastings needed of a larger facility.

The Bauers saved the 100-year-old church from demolition by moving it to their property and rebuilding it to two-thirds its original size, using the rafters from the church to construct an event hall.

With the church brought personal history and many couples came to the village in hopes of getting married in the same church their parents or grandparents were wed.

Now, the church hosts more than 50 wedding ceremonies a year and the event hall is used primarily for receptions, along with a few banquets and parties.

Despite these successes, the Bauer family was not yet finished renovating.

Lacy Vreeland from Eye Candy Refind in Hastings said she was almost not at all familiar with the Little Log House Pioneer Village, yet she said, "The second that I got the full tour I kind of became obsessed with it."

While her intent in visiting the site was to help redesign a light fixture, she ended up revamping the entire event hall.

To Vreeland, the big open space was a blank canvas that was "really cool, but could be so much more."

Vreeland gathered inspiration from what made her comfortable and happy along with the goal of "making it feel like those barns that most brides today actually want to be married in but with all of the amenities of an actual event center."

The renovation process lasted the entire month of January and Vreeland said she loved working with the Bauers.

"I could literally show them a photo and they had it or could find it or could make it," Vreeland said. "I didn't have to source anything, they had everything."

On Vreeland's enthusiasm Tuin said that she "was like a kid in a candy store."

While Vreeland had lots of experience in interior design and a passion for restoration, she said that it was the character of the Bauer family that made this project special for her.

By daring to modernize, the Bauer's consequently share with the world their antique treasures.

If you go …

What: Little Log House Antique Power Show

When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 28-30

Where: 21889 Michael Ave., rural Hastings

How much: $10 a day ages 13 and up or $20 weekend pass; children enter free

More info: http://www.littleloghouseshow.com/

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