The issue: The historic property at 400 Old Comanche Rd. had grown neglected.
The impact: Nancy Gathright and Pam Ribble want to open a new venue there to celebrate the history of Brown County.
Just behind Heartland Mall at 400 Old Comanche Rd. sits 20 acres of verdant land with a rich history.
An 1870s rock livery and former stagecoach stop, an early 20th-century wooden house and a stone barn give the property its classic feel, and longtime Brown County residents will remember the farm that used to sit on the property. But when Nancy Gathright and Pam Ribble bought the land recently, it needed a lot of work.
“When we bought it, this whole field here was nothing but Johnson grass,” Ribble said at the property on Friday. “We built the new entrance. All that was trees, briars, brush — you just couldn’t see anything.”
The women have a lot of work left to do, but their vision is taking shape — they intend to open a new multipurpose space called Stagecoach Station Venues, hosting farmers markets, outdoor concerts, photo shoots, weddings, parties and more. And next month the two want to give Brown County a sneak peak of the renovated property.
A Stagecoach Christmas will be Dec. 9 from 4 to 8 p.m. and include food, music, raffles, a hay ride, a live nativity and photos with Santa Claus. Zak Webb and Tim Martin will perform live and Christian comedy artist Amazed Grace will serve as the emcee.
“We decided to do this event to kind of introduce ourselves a little bit,” Gathright said. “Our official opening is probably not until after the first of the year.” Stagecoach Station is planning a ‘Market Days’ event on April 7 and 8 for local food and crafts vendors.
Gathright and Ribble said they didn’t know much about the property before, but having been researching its history since the purchase. “We’ve had so many folks who have stopped or written us on Facebook who have stories about this place,” Gathright said. “They grew up here. We encourage anyone with a story or a picture to reach out.”
Moving forward, the women plan to renovate the wooden house and build a new multipurpose structure on the land. After that, they said, the venue’s possibilities are endless. “It’s kind of a step back in time, being here,” Gathright said. “If people want to host a concert, a family reunion or a birthday party, this is a pretty place to do it.”
More information is available on the Stagecoach Station Venues Facebook page. Gathright and Ribble request that A Stagecoach Christmas attendees park at the Heartland Mall and walk or shuttle to the venue.