Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Registration Now Open for the Second Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge

Last year's First Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge was a huge success, so we're getting read to do it again!

Registration is now open for the Second Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge, which will be held July 24-26, 2015

Emerging Civil War is offering a $75 early-bird rate for people who register by April 30th. Regular registration will be $95.

But anyone who attended last year qualifies for a special registration rate of $55/person if they register by December 1.

The fee includes a Friday night round table discussion; lectures, lunch and book signings on Saturday with tours of the Chancellorsville Battlefield on Sunday. The 2015 theme is “Civil War Legacies,” and topics will include the 1865 surrenders, Lincoln assassination, battlefield preservation and the legacy of the Civil War. Details on speakers will be announced soon.

For more information or to register, e-mail: emergingcivilwar@gmail.com.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Pumpkins and No Pumpkins

Halloween is past and November has arrived. The Great Pumpkin has made his rounds, and now it’s time to start putting away our big, friendly orange friends in advance of winter. We’ve had a lot of pumpkiny fun around here this year!

It’s hard to imagine Halloween without pumpkins, but a couple years ago, we almost had a pumpkin-less Halloween.

We had a couple scheduled to get married just a couple days before Halloween. They had rented out the entire property, and everyone checked in the day before so they could be here for the rehearsal.

The bride lived locally, but she hadn’t been to the property since her final coordination meeting a few weeks in advance, so she hadn’t yet seen Stevenson Ridge all decked out for fall, complete with cornstalks, chrysanthemums, and pumpkins.

The bride hated pumpkins.

The rehearsal went off without a hitch, but afterwards, her fiancé pulled me aside: “Um...” he started. I could tell he felt a little awkward. “My fiancée.... Well, you see she doesn’t like pumpkins.” He gave me a grin that might have been friendly or might have been nervous. “Is there any chance you could please hide all the pumpkins before tomorrow?”

I have to admit, it’s one of the more unusual requests we’ve ever had here at Stevenson Ridge. But sure enough, the next morning, we went around the entire property and hid all the pumpkins: the pumpkins by the wagons out front, the pumpkins by the front doors of the Lodge, the pumpkins in front of all the cabins, the pumpkins on the steps leading into the Riddick House, even the pumpkins on my parents’ patio. Pumpkins away!

The wedding went off without a hitch—and without a pumpkin.

The next day, after everyone checked out, we went back around and put the pumpkins back: we had another wedding that night, and the bride and groom had planned a Halloween-themed wedding, complete with costumes.

It was fun to get our Halloween back on in record time!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Scenes from Our Open House

We had a really nice Open House last Wednesday. Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn't cooperate with us, so the gloomy weather dampened things for some folks (it's tough to walk around and enjoy the grounds and visit the cabins when it's drizzling out).

Not everyone let the rain keep them away, though. We had dozens of guests stop by to learn about our corporate accommodations: meeting spaces, catering services, happy hour packages, options for parties and dinners, and overnight lodging for retreats.

Elizabeth also had a number of prospective brides stop by to tour the facility and sample the tasty treats Chef Brad cooked up. Several of those brides were so enthusiastic that they came right back on Thursday and Friday to book the venue--what a pleasant surprise to see them so soon!

For those who couldn't make it because of the weather, but who would still be interested in learning more about the ways Stevenson Ridge can help you with your corporate or group event, drop me a line at info@stevensonridge.com. And of course, prospective brides who are interested in learning more about our wedding packages, our Head Wedding Coordinator, Elizabeth Timms, would love to chat: etimms@stevensonridge.com.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fall Colors Settle Over the Ridge

While fall hasn’t quite yet flushed the trees with full color here at Stevenson Ridge, it has certainly settled into the decor around here.

Fall is the time of year when the colors turn from summery pinks and turquoises and lavenders to auburn, sienna, orange, and maroon. Summertime scarlet turns to autumn crimson. Summertime yellow deepens to autumn gold.

Carnations give way to mums. Orange pumpkins roll into place next to bales of straw and bundles of cornstalks. Lace gets replaced by burlap (which has remained a surprisingly popular decor choice).

The trees remain mostly green, but a few yellow leaves have fluttered down to the pond and skiffed across its surface. It won’t be long before color breaks out in full riot.

Nights haven’t cooled enough yet for frost, but the pumpkins are waiting for that first frosty glaze. I'm not sure that I am, though!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Open House today!

Don't forget our fall Open House today!

The doors are open to the public from 4:00-7:00 p.m., and it's free to attend. We'll have hot apple cider to sip as you walk the grounds and visit our cottages and special event venues.

Contact us at info@stevensonridge.com or (540) 582-6263 for further information. Visit the facebook event page here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fall Open House- Wednesday, October 22nd!

Hope everyone can make it to our Fall Open House next Wednesday, October 22nd, 4-7pm.  It is open to the public and free to attend.  We will have hot apple cider to sip on as you walk the grounds visiting our cottages and special event venues.  RSVPs appreciated but not required.  Contact us at info@stevensonridge.com or (540) 582-6263 for further information.  Visit the facebook event page here.

Monday, August 18, 2014

"Overwhelming hospitality" for the Emerging Civil War Symposium

Emerging Civil War co-founder Kris White speaks
More than 70 people from across the United States came to the property this past weekend for the first annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge. Attendees visited from as far away as Seattle, Washington and Hollister, California.

Chris, our resident historian, served as the emcee for the event. He and his longtime best friend, historian Kris White, are cofounders of Emerging Civil War.

Friday featured a panel of nine historians who held a freewheeling discussion about the war in 1864, which was the topic of symposium. Saturday featured seven speakers who presented programs on various aspects of the Civil War in '64. On Sunday, Chris and Kris led battlefield tours.

"Stevenson Ridge is right on the battlefield, so it makes a lot of sense for us to explore its Civil War connections," Chris said. "There was a lot of great energy and enthusiasm all weekend long because we had such a great mix of people!"

Several symposium attendees stayed in our historic houses, and everyone enjoyed a great lunch from our chef. "The hospitality was overwhelming!" keynote speaker Eric Wittenberg told us. He also had many nice things to say about the event on his blog.

It was an exciting weekend for us--and an especially busy one, too, because we also had three weddings over the weekend! C-SPAN came on Saturday to cover the events, so look for us there next month--we will keep you posted on details.

We are already looking forward to next year's symposium: July 24-26, 2015. Book your reservations for our houses early!
Historian Chris Kolakowski
(not to be confused with our own Chris Mackowski!)