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New site for outdoor weddings

By Staff | May 5, 2014

Sam Michael’s Park is home to many activities from baseball to arts and crafts, fireworks to 5K runs. Added to the list is now an outdoor wedding venue located at the homesite of Sam Michael, who owned the property and left it for public use.

The homesite was destroyed by fire decades ago, according to Jennifer Myers, parks director. Where the home stood, the columns from the front of the home remain. Park staff has worked to clean out the area, a part of the park not known to many visitors. What is left is a beautiful, serene spot for and outdoor wedding or even other outdoor event, Myers said.

In addition to the columns, there is the remnant of and old stone barn which had, for years, been a dump site for many. Members of the Civilian Conservation Corps joined in the efforts to help clean up the site in preparation for its use, taking more than 5,000 pounds of metal and debris from the barn site.

“They did an amazing job,” Myers said, of the work required to get all of the trash removed.

While the site is not currently appropriate for receptions since there are no bathroom facilities or pavilions, Myers does not discount the possibility of construction of these amenities in the future.

The parks and recreation department will host a dedication and ribbon cutting at the site this afternoon at 4 p.m. Myers has arranged to have the area set up similar to a reception with tables and chairs, flowers, a “wedding buffet” of finger food and even a wedding cake. Guests are welcome to visit the venue and share in the official opening of the site.

Myers explained that plans in the future will include a path or drive to get into the site. Currently there is a trail system that runs through the area, connecting it to the rest of the 135+ acre park.

Myers said that plans include coordinating with local rental companies and other wedding-focused businesses to offer potential renters a “wedding package.”

The current rate for rental of the site is $350 and Myers said that the first wedding has been booked for later this summer. Potential couples could even win a wedding at the site by visiting the Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Facebook page and “liking” and “sharing” information about the venue.

For more information, visit the Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Commission on Facebook at fb.me/jeffcounty.parksnrec or call 304-728-3207.