Henry’s Home History
Twenty-one years ago , the genesis of this sanctuary was revealed to Donna. She walked away from this revelation in shock. Her body tingled and her breath was taken away. There was no question in her mind that this was her primary purpose for being on this earth. She will tell you that this ‘vision’ was the culmination of all of her life experiences and everything she believed in and dreamed of.
What she was shown was a retreat center on a large piece of land with big barns filled with all sorts of animals, beautiful gardens and flowers everywhere. She found herself walking down a trail to a large lake sided by woods. She felt a healing, enveloping sense of peace. As she looked around she saw trails with color-coordinated flowers indicating the length of the trails. Yellow flowers for a one mile trail, purple flowers for a two mile trail, etc.
A big rustic lodge had a centerpiece kitchen with dining tables and chairs scattered throughout the main floor. Massive stone fireplaces, high timbered ceilings, comfy bedrooms, and bathrooms with big soaking tubs reflected an eclectic theme of comfort and simplicity. Nestled about the grounds were firepits and cozy seating arrangements.
Included in the main lodge was a uniquely square auditorium with large descending sections going down to a stage. These sections of wide floors were filled with comfortable unmatching couches, lounge chairs and recliners. The intimate design was meant to feel like the speakers or performers were in a warm and inviting home.
More sleeping arrangements were nestled into creative yet functional buildings, all reflecting the unspoiled nature around them. A bunkhouse, connected to one of the barns; a greenhouse creatively incorporated more bedrooms along with a real indoor garden; a boathouse which housed more bedrooms along with canoes.
There were no electronics in the bedrooms. No microwaves ovens in the kitchen. Guests disconnected from the world and stepped back into the peace of nature. Incumbent upon visitors was the expectation of an extended quiet time while there – be that in a canoe, with a horse, on a walk, with a book, in the gardens, or whatever was healing and calming for that person.
Over the next twenty years, that original vision of a retreat never left Donna’s mind. She knew it to be a sanctuary – a refuge from the stresses of life. Unbeknownst to her, this ‘purpose for her life’ started to take shape as a sanctuary for donated and rescued horses in February of 2012 with the adoption of her first two horses, Henry and Lexi. It became apparent to her and those who rode with her that spending time with these horses and out in nature heals people. A three year period transpired during which the sanctuary grew with more adopted horses and more people coming to spend time with them. Finally towards the end of 2014 “it” clicked in her mind. This was the vision she had been waiting for, coming to life. A sanctuary for horses, yes, but even more important, a sanctuary, a place for healing, for people.