We are Jay and Jeanne Aspenson and we own and operate Gatherings on the Ridge, a scenic wedding barn property in southwest Wisconsin near the town of Eastman, WI. We are located just one hour south of La Crosse and only 15 minutes north of Prairie du Chien WI.
We purchased our property in September 2004. We both had a love for older homes, and we were excited/nervous to own our first home. We contemplated what we could do with only two to three acres of open land, and came up with starting a strawberry business. Hence, Strawberry Lane was formed. This venture would serve two purposes – first to provide extra income to help support our family and the second, so our children had some chores to do. Jay and I both grew up on dairy farms and realized the importance of installing a good “work ethic” in our children.
How did we go from a strawberry farm to a wedding barn you might ask? While serving on a volunteer committee for a local biking event, The Brave Ride, a fellow committee member jokingly suggested I clean out my barn to host the meal at the end of the bike ride. That is the comment that “started my wheels turning” as my husband might say. Two years of research into wedding barns followed, which revealed only a handful in the state. There are currently well over fifty event barns to date in Wisconsin.
This venture has been a labor of love, with the whole family being quite involved with the work, along with extended family, and many long hours, to arrive at where the barn is today. It can no longer be said, as a friend had at one time stated to us, “These big barns are nothing but dinosaurs with not much use for them.” We are thrilled that we have found a new use for this dinosaur.
We desired also from the beginning that this event barn venture would spill over into the community to benefit many, economically and socially. Therefore, we have been privileged to host the last two Junior Proms for our local school. We have hosted the harvest dinner in the fall for Driftless Wisconsin Grown, as well as the farm crawl in June, both of which bring awareness to the diversity of local food and wine our Driftless region has to offer.
Please contact us at 608-874-4668 or 608-306-2598 to talk about your event.