The partners in this venture are three friends who have a lot of spirit – Sheila Burski, Marla Waseka and Jessica Town-Gunderson. The torch has been passed on to us from three women of spirit – Franciscan sisters. The past life of The Olive Branch Retreat was a Convent named Portiuncula, which means “Little Portion”. It was a Catholic retreat for nuns. However, due to their vow of poverty, it was very modest in architecture as well as decoration. Under the discerning eye of the new partners, it was renovated and restored into a cozy yet upscale retreat for all to enjoy. Now, there are light-filled rooms, incredible views, vintage furniture and fantastic mattresses all wrapped into an ‘old world’ aesthetic.
Although a complete facelift was accomplished, the original character was not destroyed. Careful attention was paid to preserving the Chapel which is now a welcoming spiritual place. Wood from the exterior was reused on the interior. Windows and doors were added for view and natural light, but the original footprint remains. Its unique horseshoe floor plan creates many different spaces – a handsomely landscaped Courtyard upon entry – as well as many social gathering spaces; private sleeping spaces and cozy meditating spaces.
In warmer months, the expansive patio affords fantastic outdoor dining and entertaining options. The Chicken Barn now has a new purpose – to house and entertain. Located closer to the lake, it is loaded with atmosphere. It provides a gathering space with bathroom, wet bar, fire ring and houses the original wood burning stove from the Convent. The nature opportunities are incredible! There are walking trails for contemplative strolling (pay attention to the wild flowers). The extensive yard is perfect for yard-play and relaxation. The lake invites you to experience loon watching in a canoe; trophy bass and pan fishing from the boat; leisurely cruising in the pontoon and a quick swim off the diving dock.
Jessica, Marla and Sheila remain dedicated to creating a unique and peaceful experience with unexpected surprises.
The getaways that you could plan here are only limited to your imagination. But a word of caution: whatever you plan to do here, be prepared to return to the regular world a little transformed, and more than a little relaxed. Feel free to take home with you every portion of peacefulness you attain here.