Former Sedalia wedding photographer Sara Tafoya Howell began a new artistic venture this year — along with her husband Josh Howell, the couple has brought together the Heritage Farm event venue, complete with a barn created from vintage wood.
The venue, located in Pettis County on Anderson School Road, comes with a rustic 5,400-square-foot barn along with 10 acres of land and a pond perfect for weddings, birthdays and other celebrations.
“We just opened this April,” Howell said. “We did Smith-Cotton’s (High School) prom, it was our first event. We’ve at least one event every weekend from then on out. Next year we have about two Saturdays left.”
Howell was a wedding photographer for 10 years, and when she and her husband became engaged eight years ago, she brought him along to shoot photos.
“We started shooting weddings and got to go to some really neat and different places, especially the barns,” Howell said. “We said ‘hey, well we could do this and Sedalia needs something like that.’”
They found the land they now live on and after a few years built the barn. The barn itself is special.
“We had an Amish crew that took down an old barn, that’s where all the beams came from,” Howell said. “They took down a 100-year-old barn from Ohio, and they came here and reconstructed it. The roof is new and the flooring is new.
“My husband actually went door-to-door looking and asking people if they wanted to keep their old barns,” she added. “So, the siding of the whole place is from old barns in the area, that he spent a whole winter taking down. The tin and everything is from old barns in the area.”
The couple has four children, Cole, newborn, Karina, 1, Elaina, 3, and Clint, 5. They are the main reason Howell retired from wedding photography and began the event barn venue. She wanted to stay home with her children.
“This has been five years in the making, that I’m able to switch from photography to now being able to stay at home with my kids, and have this on the weekends,” she added.
The event barn is seasonal and isn’t heated or air conditioned. The Howells wanted to preserve the look of an old barn, so the sun shines through cracks between the boards and through the knot holes in the vintage wood.
“We wanted a place that was big enough, but definitely had character,” she added.
The Howell’s take reservations from April 1 though mid-November. The barn is equipped with 350 chairs and those using the venue can bring their own props or use Howell’s props from her photography days.
“They can bring in whatever they want, they can have any vendors,” she said. “People can do sparklers, we have a bonfire area … we don’t have horses, but people are welcome to bring horses. People have lawn games they set up, and they have horseshoes up here.”
The estimated cost for a one-day rental for Friday, Saturday or Sunday is $2,000. Heritage Farm also has rates for two-day rental and whole weekend rental. The barn is equipped with a kitchen prep area for caterers and with bathrooms.
Heritage Farm is hosting a wedding-themed Open House from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11 and the public is welcome to attend. Howell is expecting approximately 20 local vendors.
“We’ll have a whole lot of vendors here,” Howell said. “It will be mostly a wedding expo, but we’ll still definitely have stuff for kids. We want to show off the barn, especially in the evening when it looks nice with the lights on.”
Heritage Farm is located five minutes from Sedalia at 23735 Anderson School Rd. For pricing and additional information, call Howell at 913-302-2007 or 596-5821 or email her at [email protected] Heritage Farm can be found on Facebook and online at Heritageranchmo.com.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 826-1000 ext. 1481 or @flbemiss.