Rustic memories

(First published in the May 24, 2018 issue of City Pages)

Trillium Creek Wedding and Event Barn preserves a piece of rural architectural history



Trillium Creek Wedding and Event Barn: Lisa Reinke says she couldn’t bear the idea of an iconic 1890s Pomeranian barn go unused

Some people love history, particularly family history. But few would likely go so far as buying their grandparents’ old farm, and even fewer would, upon realizing the barn was too far gone to restore, buy another barn down the road and move it to the family site.


Lisa Reinke

For the love of history, that’s exactly what Lisa Reinke and her husband Gary did, and they’ve have been working on restoring the farm along with the barn for three and a half years.

The result is a new party venue, Trillium Creek Wedding and Event Barn, located between Wausau and Merrill, in the town of Berlin. The space will host weddings, family reunions and other events on the site.

Reinke and her husband live in Middleton where Lisa is an anesthesiologist and Gary works in IT. They’ve spent many weekends over the past three and a half years meticulously designing the space so that it’s particularly photogenic. Photos on Trillium Creek’s website practically beg to be Instagrammed. The couple added a foot bridge over the creek and plenty of antiques and props to add to the photogenic setting.

The barn was built in 1890s in the porch-style design used by Pomeranian immigrants who settled that part of Marathon County in the late 19thcentury.

The Reinkes hadn’t even envisioned a wedding barn when they bought the property and then added the barn, Lisa Reinke says. “Initially we were just going to have a really nice multi-purpose space,” she says. “But once we were inside and working on it, and saw all the beautiful beams and wood, we decided we have to share it with the community.”

Trillium started taking wedding reservations last July, Reinke says. The couple had their own wedding on the land ten years ago and hosted several family reunions.

Turing the barn into a wedding venue meant a lot of attention to details. The Reinkes installed a full catering kitchen, something that’s a challenge with barn weddings; a chest freezer to support two bars, one on each level of the barn; and a picnic pavilion area, where guests can play lawn games. It also includes plenty of covered areas in case of rain, and incorporates design choices to accommodate elderly and disabled guests.

Trillium is roughly 80% full for 2018 and nearly half booked up for 2019. “Our motto is ‘honoring the past, creating your future,’” Reinke says. “I want to help people start their lives on a wonderful track.”

For more information, visit their website.