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  • Writer's pictureLawrence

Unexpected Guests

This family were guests at Willow Ridge Manor sometime in the 90's. They returned in '16 for another event and retook another family picture.
Before and After

Gregory and I have been working with Willow Ridge Manor now for over twenty-three years. (My work with Willow Ridge Manor was first through Lifestyles Catering in the early years, but that is a different story.) It is always fun to talk to people who have been to Willow Ridge Manor as guests in the past or people who came back after getting married some time ago. Other interesting guests we have had had some connection to Willow Ridge Manor when it was the farmhouse on the farm down in Bear Creek. I always like to hear about people’s memories about Willow Ridge Manor, the event facility and the home for many families through the years.

One of the first return visitors were a family who attended a wedding at Willow Ridge Manor 26 years ago. They returned to another wedding in 2016 where they took another picture.

At one of the weddings this weekend we had two couples as guests who got married here at Willow Ridge Manor. The first couple were married 13 years ago. Their comment was how much the manor has changed. It’s true, they were married on the deck, because that was before Gregory had developed the Red Rocks Patio and the Wedding Ceremony site. Gregory took a picture of them up on the deck again for old time sake.

The other couple was married a year ago, one day early to the day. Great to see them and see that they are expecting a little one in the fall.

Next year we have a wedding where the Bride’s parents were married at Willow Ridge Manor in 1990.

All of these are fun incidents, but the best return visiter was a gentleman and his wife who stopped into Willow Ridge Manor a couple of weeks ago. He introduced himself as Watt Redfield’s nephew. Mr. Redfield is the inventor and manufacturer of the Redfield Gun Site. While searching for information about Mr. Redfield I came across this excerpt from a book by another nephew of Mr. Redfield.

My uncle had bought that grand old house from a U.S Senator and my aunt had promptly filled it with silk wall coverings crystal chandeliers, and antiques. At which point my uncle took to every month or two leaving the side door open to let his favorite billy goat in to drive my aunt crazy. My uncle’s name was Watt Redfield, and he owned the Redfield Gunsight Company, which manufactured the best rifle scopes anywhere - preferred by Olympic shooters and sniper-assassins the world over. In the winter, when it was too snowy to practice shooting outside, Uncle Watt and my brother Jerry lay on their stomachs in the front sitting room and fired through the parlor, the dining room, a corner of the kitchen, and into the back entrance hall - where the bullet trap was.

When they were shooting, Aunty Aleen had to lock herself and the dogs in the basement, or upstairs. Which was one of the reasons Uncle Watt loved winter rifle practice so much. Its other allures included the wailing of the hounds, the clouds of gunpowder wafting through the house, and the great clang the bullet trap made each time a round slammed into it.

Excerpt from Overworld, by Larry J. Kolb, 2004

(After reading this excerpt, I looked at the layout of the Manner as it is, and I can see the like of fire, from the front room through to the back of the house.)

Our visitor told a similar story, that on Christmas eve, Mr. Redfield would open the double doors under the Bride’s Balcony and brought one of his prized stations into the front sitting room. I’m sure it was another time that Aunty Aleen was driven to distraction by Watt.

Connecting with people who share memories that are linked to this facility and home is always a special time. We look forward to people visiting Willow Ridge Manor and bringing back their memories of events from the past.

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