Pineola has a long history of weddings. The farm was established in 1865 by Reverend Stephen Elisha Bassett. It was common for preachers to perform weddings at their homes back then. Weddings were not the spectacular events that many of them are today.
When we moved to Pineola in September, 1997, we fell in love with the history of the farm as soon as we saw it. The home, the buggy house, the squirrel house and even the old barn that was across the street and belonged to someone else. The old Bassett Cotton Barn was originally part of a 2000 acre farm back in the day. The barn was built in the 1930’s to replace the original barn which was on the same side of the street as the house. We had been looking at the Barn across the street since we purchased the house and talking about how great it would be if we could move it across the street to our property. We had no idea what we would do with it, but just knew we would love to have it since it was built by the family that owned our house for over 100 years.
When the property that the barn was located on was sold in 2006 the owner started talking about tearing the barn down to sell the old timber to be recycled into flooring, we took that as a sign that maybe we should move the old barn across the street. A few months later it was ours and we started the moving process.
We spent months cleaning out the barn, disassembling the interior and removing the siding in preparation for the house movers to do their thing. We had the footings poured, piers built, trees removed and the ditch filled in. After spending over a week prepping the building to be moved, it only took a few hours for them to move it across the street...
We had the old barn in our backyard. Now what? Well the lord does send signs. People started asking about having events in the old building. Paul was working in the yard one day when a young girl pulled into the front drive and had a question - can I get married in your pecan orchard and have the reception in the old barn? Well that really put an idea in our heads. Little did we know that that was going to be a very popular idea over the next 10 years.
Weddings were nothing new to us, our first wedding at Pineola Farms was in 1998. Over the next several years another family member and a few friends were married and had receptions on the property.
In 2007 we took a leap of faith and officially opened the Cotton Barn as a wedding venue at Pineola. We had a plan that we would host weddings for about 8 years or as long as farm weddings remained popular. As we head towards finishing out the 2016 wedding season, we never thought we would be hosting weddings for 10 years.
What a ride it has been! We have met some wonderful brides and grooms and their families. We became good friends with many of them and have seen many of them over the years when they come back for family photos, maternity sessions or baby’s first birthday pictures.
We follow many of their lives on Facebook and get a lot of cards throughout the year – We seldom go shopping without seeing someone that has been in a wedding or attended one here at the farm. Owning a wedding venue really gives you a huge “family”.
Many people keep telling us that we should write a book about everything that has happened at all of the weddings here over the last 10 years. Well, we are not going to do that but it would make some very heartwarming stories. We will just treasure this time in our hearts.
We have come to a turning point in our lives. We have wholesale supply business that is growing rapidly. When we first moved here, we ran it in a garage in the back yard. A couple of years later we tripled the size of the building and loved how spacious it was. Finally, we had room to grow.
Now we have outgrown that space and had to make a decision on whether or not to build a new building or use the barn as the new home for our business. After much thought, discussion and prayers we have decided to move our business to the much larger space in the barn so we can continue to grow.
12 years ago we had no idea that we would be in the wedding business. We had no idea how much all of the people that we would assist with one of the most important days in their lives would touch our lives. The more you give the more you receive. We have been blessed with so many wonderful friends and beautiful memories. It is a time we will never forget.
The times are changing and Pineola Farms has always changed with them… Now a wedding venue is another part of the rich history of the farm. While we will no longer host weddings after the 2016 season, the memories will always be with us.
Thank you to our Brides and Grooms – We had a blast!
Paul & Delise Knight