We are excited to announce that it is our both our 30th anniversary as Justin Trails Resort, and our centennial year on the farm! Don and I feel very blessed to have met so many wonderful guests, shared our rural lifestyle and land that has been in the Justin family for 100 years. To celebrate, we are giving away one free night every month through the end of the year!
How It All Started…
Our farm has been in the same family for 100 years! On August 9, 2016 we received the Centennial Farm Award at the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis. Don’s grandparents, Gustave and Apollonia Justin, originally purchased this property in 1916, then Don’s parents, Raymond and Kathryn Justin, purchased it in 1944, and finally Don and I purchased the property from them in 1970. However, it wasn’t until 1986 that we transitioned from a working farm to a Wisconsin bed and breakfast.
I attended the Willie Nelson Farm and Ranch Congress in the summer of 1986. The speakers told scary, sad tales of losing their farms that had been in their family for generations because they had borrowed too much money and could not repay the loans. It was very obvious to me listening that small farms were not going to survive the farm economy of the mid 1980s unless they diversified and found other ways to make a living. Enter the bed and breakfast inn venues. We stayed at two on our trip to and from the Congress and decided we could do better than either experience.
We started with 2 rooms in our house, and found each October we do not have enough lodging for all the leaf peepers. So we added rooms in our house, added Little House on the Prairie, the Granary, (now called The Cottage) another log cabin, converted the machine shed to the Lodge, the chicken coop to the camping cabin and finally converted the 1919 post and beam barn to the Elegant Barn Event building.
We have been successful because over the years we have had awesome employees and interns in the Recreation Management Program. We listened to what guests wanted, added amenities, and the property has blossomed into a premier Wisconsin lodging establishment and wedding venue. We look forward to welcoming new and return guests to celebrate this exciting milestone!