Among the newly installed modern conveniences, Westbrook has included heating and air conditioning, lighting and even modern power outlets.

In 1912, dozens of children lined up for school to learn about the world. At this time, it wasn’t at the School of the Osage. In this particular instance, it was a small class at a single-room schoolhouse found just outside of Eldon on Walnut Grove Road. It wouldn’t be long before the school would be moved out of in 1933. Since then, the building has sat vacant, growing weeds and becoming a home for the wildlife surrounding it. However, once Lisa Westbrook set her sights on it in 2018, that would all change.

Westbrook’s daughter was married in 2016 and at the time, venue selection was far and few between. She went all over the area looking for a place that would work, but everything seemed to be too expensive. Though they were able to afford and setup the wedding, she saw a distinct lack of smaller, low-cost venues available. As a person with a knack for party planning, Westbrook decided it would become her project to build a venue of her own.

The first step, of course, was finding a location. Coincidentally, a close-friend happened to be the owner of a 1912 schoolhouse. And it was for sale.

“I drove by the location and was like ‘Oh my god’,” Westbrook said.

The building, located at 78 Walnut Grove Road, was a mess of vegetation at the time. Westbrook says she climbed up through an entryway and was bested by a swarm of bugs and briar patches. Even so, the allure of the history and unique look of the building was enough to make Westbrook go all in and purchase the property.

Trying to restore a building of this age and bring it to modern standards ended up being more than a challenge for Westbrook and her team of workers in the long run.

Among the newly installed modern conveniences, Westbrook has included heating and air conditioning, lighting and even modern power outlets.

“I think we’ve found a happy balance of old and new,” Westbrook said.

Most aspects of the building received a touch up or upgrade. Paint matching the original colors of the school was reapplied, the roof received a major overhaul and the floor was even refinished.

A major addition to the property is the bridal suite and bathrooms built new on the backside. The original location only had an outhouse and water pump in the back without modern plumbing. This was a must for Westbrook and the team to get things up to modern standards, without going overboard with taking away historical value. The old our house is now a pump station and the water pump is still in the ground.

The final installation seen at the site is a small newlyweds cabin up on the hill, giving the bride and groom a private location away from the visitors. This was imported and upgraded with a bed, toilet and even a working shower. Westbrook prides herself on going above and beyond what people think she can achieve.The venue comfortably sits around 80 people and will soon include a ceremony area in the woods behind the building and a small outdoor gathering area.

Westbrook says that, even if the venue sits empty with no patrons, she would still feel at peace. She says she loves to stop by the location at her leisure and feels that she and the team behind her were able to bring a historically significant piece of lake architecture back to life.

“I wanted to save a piece of history,” Westbrook said. “Now, this is my happy place.”

For booking and location information, find Memory Lane Events, LLC, the name of Westbrook's booking and event company, on Facebook or email at bookingmemorylane@gmail.com.