Larry and Lois grew up in Carthage. Jobs and life have taken them to other cities for many years. They have now returned to their roots and have built Old Time Reunion Event Complex with a Country Barn Theme to celebrate the American Farmer. The dream is for lots of country good times in the months and years ahead.
Lois recalls a specific August day in 2005, "Our son was visiting Larry and me at our home in Springfield, just days before he was scheduled to head out for a tour of duty in Afghanistan. We had a full day ahead of us for fun and asked Dan what he'd like to do. He didn't hesitate, he immediately answered that Red Oak II had been on his mind for a long time, so we headed to Carthage.
During the trip to Red Oak II, we all reminisced about the early days of our membership in the original Fox Fire Farm Club. We had attended our first Midwest Gathering of the Artists in September of 1986. We became immediate fans of Lowell Davis artwork, joined his fan club and followed his career as much as possible while living in Kansas City. We lost touch with Red Oak II for a few years during the late nineties and in early 2000.
Which brings us back to where we started, August 2005...
We found Lowell living in his Belle Starr House at Red Oak II. He was remarried to Rose and told us he was selling all of Red Oak II due to the fact that the property maintenance, taxes and building upkeep were just too much for him to manage.
Larry and Dan had always liked Marshal Ralph Hooker's Jail and Log Cabin so those were the first two buildings that Larry purchased that day in August 2005. Shortly following those acquisitions, other buildings and properties were purchased by Larry and me. Larry also worked out an agreement with Richard Ellis to purchase and move his little 'Antique 1905 Standard Filling Station' to Red Oak II. The little station had been located out on 96 Highway for several years and was a favorite of Larry's. It was a great day when Larry had Tilton House Movers deliver it to Red Oak II and then had our crew restore it to what you see today. We now own many of the properties in the original Red Oak II village that Lowell and Charlotte Davis originally envisioned and created.
After restoring all the properties we purchased, we began to realize that there isn't a single building that we own at Red Oak II that's large enough to entertain more than small groups of people. We also saw a need to have parking for visitors as well as public restroom facilities.
Then, in the spring of 2010 Larry and I had the opportunity to purchase the cropland from Don Blankenship, just across the road from Red Oak II. This purchase provided access to property that we could utilize for parking. Some time after that, April Davis sold us her 1881 farmhouse and 3 acres, also on the north side of Kafir Road.
It wasn't long before Larry and I got the fever to build an Event Center to justify all the years of restoration and maintenance we had invested in our Red Oak II properties. The Livery Barn was built first in August 2014. Next, we built the public restrooms in the Milk House Style Barn. Then in November 2014 Hostetler Barn Builders moved onto the property and began work on our new Event Barn that we call 'Legacy Barn'. Our crew did all the interior finish work to complete the extensive project.
The next barns to be built were Larry's Tractor Barn, The Farm Country BBQ Barn, the Gambrel Utility Barn, and the Workshop/Carpentry Barn. We have a construction crew currently building a Monitor Style Horse Barn with completion slated for early summer 2020.
Two other recent property acquisitions have now enabled us to secure 160 acres on the north side of Kafir Road for future expansion and additional activities at Old Time Reunion Event Complex.
2005 was the year we began purchasing buildings and property from Lowell Davis, which now has grown into a substantial portion of the front half of Red Oak II.
Back in the last century, in the early eighties, an artist had an idea to re-create his deteriorating little hometown of Red Oak, Missouri. Hence the name, Red Oak II. So, Lowell Davis began moving old derelict buildings, that people donated to him, onto his farm land and restoring the buildings back to their original beauty…only with a quirky wink from the perspective of an artist’s eye. The buildings each had their own charm by the time they were completed and that’s what we’ve tried to retain over the years since we purchased our portion of the little village. However, several buildings were in such a state of deterioration that major renovations had to be implemented in order to improve their structural integrity.
Preserving these little buildings for the next generation is what we’ve endeavored to do. We consider Red Oak II as a piece of history that we just don’t want to see vanish into the dust-bin of time. It’s mostly been a labor of love with a few periods of aggravation, as many restoration projects are, but it has definitely been worth preserving this little piece of living art.
Old Time Reunion Event Complex is our latest project across the road from Red Oak II and seems to be a proper addition to the antique properties we own and maintain here."