Panorama of the Big House

Big House Living


Conversation in the yard

It really is a big house, three stories tall. It has two large living rooms, one of which is set up as a meeting room with plenty of comfortable seating. There is a dining room that seats up to twenty people, and a large country kitchen.

There are beds for sixteen to eighteen people. Four of the eight bedrooms are set up with two or three twin beds per room. Two bedrooms have one full size bed plus one or two twin size beds each; members of the LaPrelle family occupy the two remaining bedrooms.

There are two full baths, one on the second floor and one on the third floor, and a half bath on the first floor.

There are no wheelchair facilities.

The Big House is not your typical conference facility. The house itself is homely, always in need of paint and upkeep. It has a lot of character, but it isn't particularly elegant or chic. The décor is basic rather than ornate; the furniture is old dormitory style, mixed with some homemade benches and a few antiques. The house does not fit the "bed & breakfast" mode of accommodation, and it's not really a hotel either; there is no room service, and there are no maids. We welcome families with kids. (No pets please, though.)

The Big House is located on a working cattle and dairy farm. The area around the house includes fruit trees, generous shade trees, and a fenced yard surrounded by cow pasture. The LaPrelle farm is large and mostly wooded and bordered on three sides by Jefferson National Forest. There are miles of woods to walk in and plenty of cow pasture for picking wildflowers and berries when in season. The A.R.E. Camp is only one mile up a gravel road, and the Camp pond is available for swimming and sunning. The water is usually pretty cold, even in summer! There is no lifeguard provided; swim at your own risk.