How Our Barn Was Built 

In 2010, my husband Brad of Aspen Construction was granted the demolition of the Akeley Railroad trestle, which was built in 1927. All of the 8''by 8'' cedar beams that you see in the barn are cut from the trees that held up that trestle. Some of the cedar trunks were 40 feet long with 30 inch diameter butts with no knots. These trees were born in the middle of the 1700's. 


The board and batten siding that you see on the barn was cut out of red and white pine trees that Aspen Construction took down around the same time frame to make room for the new U. S Forest Service Building in Walker. These trees were probably born in the late 1800's. 


After Brad and builder Richard Glenn of Glenn Construction drew up blue prints of the barn, a portable saw mill was moved in to get the lumber ready for the project. The barn was built in the winter of 2011. It was built for the purpose of work, storage, gardening and chickens. The chicken coop area has since been revamped for the bridal suite. We use the barn for all the purposes it was built for...except chickens!


We hope that you enjoy this special peice of history, 

Brad and Julia Baird

Akeley Railroad trestle bridge. 

*Brad and Julia hand built and stained the wood harvest tables that are used in the barn for wedding receptions, reunions or parties. 

Meet Your Hosts

Julia, Dozer and Brad

Leah, Mariah, Brad, Julia and Zach

Brad is the owner of Aspen Construction in Hackensack Mn.  Aspen is an excavation and landscaping company.  His work can be seen throughout the Ranch, from the immaculate lawn, retaining walls, fireplace, outdoor kitchen and more. Brad has constructed the wood harvest tables in the barn and has done many of the wood projects in the barn.

Brad and Julie have been married since 1997 and have 3 children Zach, Mariah and Leah. Together, Brad and Julie designed their home and grounds, living on the Ranch property shortly after they married. 


Brad designs and constructs the hardscapes while Julie is the gardener.  The Baird's grounds and gardens have also been showcased on many garden and bus tours.  Julie also owns Hair on Mane in Walker and has been a stylist for 29 years. Her hobbies are quilting, knitting, gardening and anything that allows her to be creative.  Many of Julie's artistic projects can be seen throughout the barn; whether it is the signs that she paints, rose garlands she constructed or her many Chalk Art creations.    


As the hostess of the Ranch and coordinator of your event, she will go through all the technicality’s of your special day with you.  She will advise you in all the areas in planning your event.  Julie and Brad treat your event as their own.  They are very organized and detail orientated, from the grounds, to every small detail.  Strategic placement of décor has been used to enhance photography making for picture perfect memories.  As your hosts, Brad and Julie will assist you to make your day here on the Ranch meet all of your dreams and more. 

Meet Dozer

Hi, my name is Dozer.  I am the Security on the Ranch.  I am 10 years old  and very big; my name is very fitting because I am a Bull!  I came to the Ranch when I was just a small pup from Cresco Iowa.

I love my family here, but I am most loyal to my Master Julia.  I love her and she loves me!  I rarely leave her side, but if I do I always keep my eyes on her and know where she is at “all” times. It is my job to keep critters out of Julia’s pretty gardens.  It is also my job to protect her, the Ranch and my family. I am very good at my job.

I love it when the girls with pretty dresses come and there is a party on the Ranch, then there are always kids for me to play with and I LOVE kids. They throw things for me to catch and I have a blast playing with them. I am very gentle with them. Now that I'm older I become exhausted and have to sleep in late on Sunday mornings and be lazy when I play hard.

 I like to wrestle and roughhouse with Mr. Baird, I usually win, but I let him think that he does. I love to go on walks and runs with Julia, but I can't go as far anymore as my old bones often hurt.  I go with her everywhere on the Ranch. When Mr. Baird comes home and he can’t find his wife Julia, he just looks for me to find her. For fun I like to play with the sprinkler heads when they spray water.  But what is even more fun is to try to catch the vacuum hose in the swimming pool, knicknamed O-B-ONE KONOBI. However, I get scolded when I do that, but that Robot thing drives me nuts!! The pool is really pretty but I don’t like to swim and really wish my family didn’t either. I will get my front feet wet and take a drink to cool off, but what feels best is when Julia runs the garden hose on my belly when I am hot. My new little buddy Diesel, loves water and he swims in the pool.  The young pup swims from the shallow end all the way to the deep end and back.  I watch him but I don't go in.  Maybe one day I will change my mind and swim, but as for now i like to just cool my toes.

I have the best life a dog could ever ask for,

I love living on the Ranch and hope that you will get to come for a visit.





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Photo Courtesy of John LaTourelle Photography

The New Kid on the Block

           My name is Diesel!

 I am very independent and fear almost nothing!  I am 12 weeks old and have been living here at the Ranch for a month now.  I moved here from the same place Dozer did, we are not brothers by blood, but I look up to him like a big brother. 

 My first days here I was a bit confused as to what my name really was.  I thought it was''NONO" or perhaps even"O-lordy" but I'm quite confident now that it is Diesel. I have a formal title too "Junior Chief Security Agent" (in training).  I try to be a very good boy and most times I want to please, but I am what I hear Ms Julia and Mr. Baird call a defiant little beast.  I fill my days digging up Dozers old bones..(there are lots of them..I think he has forgotten where he has put them since he is getting old ) They are in Ms Julia's gardens and she doesn't like me digging... but I just can't help it..I'm just so curious and love gardening too! I can dig sooo fast Ms Julia can't even catch me at it most times.  When I'm not napping, I fill my days wrestling with Dozer. I do this non...stop!! We love to play tug of war, I pull with all my might and he let's me win.. but one day I will win and pull Dozer around. He is very gentle with me but sometimes I deserve a little (or big) whoopin' from him for my pestering to him.  Dozer is 10 now and teaches me lots!  I follow him everywhere! We hunt chipmunks for fun and someday soon I will be big like him!

 I love chewing on bones, playing in the mud, anything with water..whether it sprays from the sprinklers or is just in a bowl. And OH-EM-GEE...they have the biggest watering bowl I have ever seen! My humans swim in it!  I go for swims too, anytime I want! It's the best! I am a good swimmer too! I go all by myself to cool off. I guess I am sort of spoiled, I get a massaging rub down with a towel to get dry, because I can't shake the water off of my little body yet. I am just a baby yet, but I hope this treatment never stops!

 And speaking of shaking, I'm learning social graces like hand shakes too.  I love when there are parties here, I get to run and play with all the little peoples during "socializing school", it's the best!  They rub my ears and pet me so softly and ooh and aww and ooh... and aww.. and tell me how adorable I am!

               Living here is going to be the best!   

 I hope I get to meet you too when you come to see the newlyweds..maybe we can even shake hands!

Ta Ta for now..check in on facebook to see me as I grow into a big boy!

Hugs and puppy kisses,


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