From the ashes: Settlers Creek rebuilds after fire, ready for wedding season

What was once an old dairy farm sits tucked away in Coeur d'Alene.

The sprawling acreage of a bustling dairy industry once home to cows is what Chris Varela remembers vividly.

"A tractor barn but we called that the three car barn," Varela described.

Chris's dad sold the farm essentially saving it and it went through several owners. It was in the early 2000s when it was up for sale again.

"In the dead of winter she (the former owner) called up and it just worked out and we were able to buy the property back and in a way put the property back into the family," Varela said.

As the years went by, they re-invested in the old dairy farm and made it a premiere spot for upscale events, weddings, you name it. It was in the summer of 2017 when disaster struck.

"We loved dearly, it was the original barn that was put on the place," Varela said.

At the time of the fire, Chris was off-property planning for his next event. But he rushed home to find his two son's and workers doing what they could to save anything.

"Jake, my youngest, had a hose and he stood between the one burning building and the commercial kitchen and he hosed himself off and he hosed the building off and kept that from going and there was stuff peeling right off the siding," Varela said.

After the fire, the Varela's were able to get Settlers Creek ready for it's next event in nine days. It would be a long summer, they would tear the barn down and replace it with a large tent. The loss hurts, but they worked through the year to get the venue ready for a wedding this weekend and another major event coming in July. It's called "From the Ashes."

"It kind of resonated," Varela said.

National pitmasters and barbecue connoisseurs will converge on Settlers Creek. The event is scheduled for July 14th, 2018, and is open to the public.

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