From Savannah on its southeast coast to Stone Mountain north of Atlanta to the pristine fairways of Bobby Jones’ Augusta National Golf Club, Georgia is all about history. About 75 miles east of Atlanta and 70 miles west of Augusta, The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Ga., has a piece of history called Sandy Creek Barn.
Actually, Sandy Creek Barn is part of Quaker Pennsylvania’s history, but it fits perfectly onto Reynolds Plantation landscape and into its culture, which dates back to the late 19th century when cousins Mercer Reynolds, Sr., and James Madison Reynolds began developing what would become the shoreline of Lake Oconee.
Eventually the Reynolds family would develop the 14,000-acre Reynolds Plantation resort community that now includes five golf courses and an abundance of water and outdoor activities. MetLife, Inc., acquired Reynolds Plantation, as well as the 251-room Ritz-Carlton Lodge in 2012.
The Lodge, set along 30 acres of Lake Oconee, features access to the five golf courses, a 26,000 square-foot spa, a three-bedroom golf cottage and five two-bedroom golf cottages.
Sandy Creek Barn, the brainchild of Mercer Reynolds III, an old-barn enthusiast and former chief executive officer of Reynolds Plantation, serves as the Lodge’s one-of-a-kind meetings and weddings venue. Built in the 1820s, the barn – nearly 7,000 square feet – was recovered from the Pennsylvania Quaker country in 2005, restored in Kentucky (where it received flooring from an old whiskey warehouse) and opened on a 900-acre tract of land east of Reynolds Plantation in 2006.
“A wonderful venue,” said Ralph Vick, general manager of The Ritz-Carlton Lodge. “It’s a typical outbuilding barn but has a great craftsmanship and is really good shape for its age.”
Sandy Creek Barn, located adjacent to a 44-acre pond, is constructed largely with reclaimed timbers in simple, strong, natural lines. Accessible via a pontoon boat from Lake Oconee, the barn is a favorite for weddings, corporate functions, and family celebrations.
Sandy Creek Barn features a gabled roof and rugged stone accents, a covered terrace anchored by a stacked stone fireplace, a large outdoor grill area, a lakeside fire pit and an adjacent two-story boat house with a swing that goes out to the pond.
The barn also has “game room” corner with foosball, mini-shuffle board, dart board, pool table and poker table; four built-in televisions; a fully stocked antique saloon bar; a gourmet kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances; wireless internet access, satellite TV/radio and two bathrooms.
Perhaps best of all, The Ritz-Carlton Lodge executive chef Yann Chupin overseeing all menus, which features such traditional Southern dishes stone ground grits bar, BBQ, low country hush puppies and fried green tomatoes.