The SpaceThis barn makes a great space for a party. IT IS NOT EQUIPPED OR LICENSED FOR OVERNIGHT STAYS.
We only rent the English Barn to guests who have rented the Cooksville Farmhouse Inn (also listed on Airbnb.) The English Barn cannot be rented separately.
Invite up to 50 guests for your event. The light streaming through the spaces between the barn siding is farmer stained glass. Use our hay bales, chairs and tables or rent your own. We will rent a porta potty at your expense for your event which will be located discretely behind the barn. Onsite parking. Rent the Cooksville Farmhouse Inn (see our Airbnb listing) at the 8 person rate (4 bedrooms) and the base rate on the English Barn will be waived.
Barns are places of dust, dirt and spider webs, especially when animals are kept next door as is our case. For some people that's part of the charm and they would have it no other way. If you are one of those people you can stop reading. If, on the other hand, you will be bothered by normal barn dirt, you have some options. If you are renting the Cooksville Farmhouse Inn and the rental fee for the English Barn is waived, you can either recruit your guests in the house to help you shine up the barn before your event (wipe chairs and tables, brush away cobwebs and sweep the floor), or you can pay us a $100 barn cleaning fee to arrange to have it done for you. Or you can use it as is, dust, dirt, spider webs and all. Send me a message if this is unclear. Guest AccessWe welcome you to explore the property, visit the Cooksville store and enjoy their hand dipped ice cream, Amish goodies, hand rolled butter, and garden produce in season. Walk the prairie paths, take pictures on the bridges, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife.
Park in designated areas according to owner instructions. No parking on State Hwys 138 and 59, as you may be ticketed. Side streets of Cooksville are okay for parking.
You and your guests are welcome to roam the property. Please:
•Stay on paths.
•Do not pick flowers without owners' permission.
•No entry to buildings other than English Barn (and farmhouse if you have rented it).
•Gates must be closed. We have animals (especially mules) that love to escape, and they can cause accident and death on the roads in traffic. Sometimes it takes hours to locate and catch them.
We work hard at weed control, but it is not possible to keep the prairie and pasture areas completely free of such things as Wild Parsnip (poison sap which causes blisters and scars), Nettles (stinging lasts an hour or so), and other less noxious weeds such as Canadian and Common Thistles (stickers), Black Locust and Blackberries (thorns) . Please refer to the last section of this flyer for specific information about these weeds.
After your event:
•Sort trash in to burnables (paper & cardboard), recyclables (glass, cans, plastic #1 or 2), and trash including food scraps.
•Wipe down tables and chairs as needed.
•Remove decorations that you brought as well as any nails or tape that held them. Replace anything of ours which you removed.
•Close all doors when you leave.
In the event of SEVERE WEATHER warnings, seek shelter in the basement of the farmhouse and or barn residence basement. Contact Martha for location of the basement door key. (PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN).
Share pictures with us that you are willing to let us post on (SENSITIVE CONTENTS HIDDEN), (SENSITIVE CONTENTS HIDDEN), Airbnb or our own website. You can email them to (EMAIL HIDDEN)
Thanks for your cooperation.
WEEDS TO AVOID BY STAYING ON PATHS - (SENSITIVE CONTENTS HIDDEN) any of these for pictures and more information.
WILD PARSNIP (Pastinaca sativa)
Appearance: Monocarpic perennial herbaceous plant (plant spends one or more years in rosette stage, blooms under favorable conditions, and then dies), 6" high in the rosette stage and 4' high on stout, grooved stems in the flowering stage.
Leaves: Alternate, leaf is made up of 5 -15 egg shaped leaflets along both sides of a common stalk; leaflets sharply-toothed or lobed at the margins; upper leaves smaller.
Flowers: Flat-topped broad flower cluster 2 - 6" wide, numerous five-petaled yellow flowers; bloom from June to late summer.
Seeds: Small, flat, round, slightly ribbed, strawcolored, abundant take 3 weeks to ripen before they can reseed; viable in the soil for 4 years.
Roots: Long, thick, edible taproot.
Warning - Avoid skin contact with the toxic sap of the plant tissue by wearing gloves, long sleeves and long pants. The juice of wild parsnip in contact with skin in the presence of Sunlight can cause a rash and blistering and discoloration of the skin.
Stinging hairs on the stem and leaves of stinging nettle cause irritation upon contact with skin. The toxins are located at the base of each stinging hair. When skin brushes against the stinging hairs, the bulbous tip of each hair readily breaks off, forming a sharp shaft that acts like a hypodermic needle to inject the toxins into the skin, causing localized pain, reddish swelling, itching and numbness. Toxins thought to be involved include formic acid (also found in ants), histamine, acetylcholine and 5-hydroxytryptamine. The symptoms caused by these chemicals will last for a few minutes to a few hours, and then resolve on their own. Airborne pollen, which is shed in large amounts when stinging nettle is in flower, is an important contributor to hay fever.
Facts and Folklore:
•Relief from stinging nettle's burn comes by rubbing inflamed skin with juice from the leaves of dock, jewelweed, rosemary, mint, sage or even crushed leaves of stinging nettle itself!
•The fiber in stinging nettle stems is very similar to that of hemp and flax, and for this reason, has historically been an important ingredient in a variety of items, from sailcloth and fishing nets to clothing and paper.
•Europeans cook stinging nettle, removing the stinging hairs by boiling, and find it a good source of vitamins A and C, protein and iron.
•Pulling up stinging nettle by the roots while calling out a sick person's name was believed to drive away a fever.
•Urtication, the process of beating the skin with nettles, was formerly used to treat certain diseases.
•Hunting dogs have died from extreme exposure to stinging nettle.Feel free to stroll the prairie paths, take pictures on the bridges, tour the village of Cooksville, stop at the Cooksville Store for hand-dipped ice cream, and play games on the Village Green. Befriend our chickens and mules with healthy treats from your table (no eggshells or potatoes, please.) Interaction with GuestsWe live in another barn on the property and are available as needed. You might want to make arrangements to come early for set up and decorating. The NeighborhoodCooksville is a small village between Madison and Janesville with about 35 houses, many of which were built in the 1840's and 50's. Most of the village is on the National Register of Historic Places. The stream that flows through our property goes into the Badfish Creek, a favorite site for kayaks and canoes. Tours of Cooksville by our village historian are available and include stories and information about the 175 year history. Getting AroundThe Cooksville area is a favorite place for bicyclists. Our property is located on 2 state highways, but we are very near some lovely country roads for pedaling and walking. The Badfish Creek goes through the village, and is a favorite place for canoes and kayaks. Other Things to NoteThis is not an overnight facility. It is for events only.
Capacity is 50 total.
Our other Airbnb listing, the Cooksville Farmhouse Inn, is on the same property and can accommodate up to 13 overnight guests. Cooksville Farmhouse Inn guests who wish to use the English Barn may do so at no extra cost for the number of guests staying in the house plus 10. The fee for 11 or more extra guests who are not staying in the house will be $5 each. For 30 or more guests you will be required to rent a porta potty for which we will make the arrangements and collect the fee ($125-$185 depending on type) from you on arrival.
There is no running water in the English barn. We will arrange for 1 porta potty, (a health department requirement) and we will need a check from you on arrival for the cost ($125-185 depending on the type you choose.) We also need payment of sales tax (5.5% of total) on arrival. These extra fees can be paid in one check made out to Cooksville Farmhouse Inn.
We have a mix of tables, chairs and hay bales you can use. Or you can contact Stoughton Lumber for rental rates for tables, chairs, etc. They deliver and pick up.
If you decide to book the English Barn, send an inquiry with details of how many people you plan to invite to your event. Book the Cooksville Farmhouse Inn separately. If you book the farmhouse for at least 9 people I will send you a special offer with the correct price. Airbnb lists a maximum capacity of only 16 for the English Barn. Capacity is actually 50. So I will correct the pricing in my special offer.