pieces create a vacation atmosphere at rural home
for an early dinner, a striking floral centerpiece and bold
blue glassware pop off the red-checked tablecloth. Tiz Meyer
painted the red chairs, which are usually housed in the barn
and used for indoor functions. "It’s wonderful to have
dinner outside. It creates an ambiance that’s different than
eating in the dining room. It’s casual, yet elegant. The
gardens, sculptures and landscape are natural conversation
starters," she notes. In the distance, tamarack log
fencing straddles the large stones, as had been constructed by
the first settlers of the farm.
Any excuse for a
If there’s a
celebration or a reason to get together, Tizza and Glenn Meyer love to
host. For the past 16 years, Stone Fences Farm, their 160-acre
compound outside of Dousman has seen just about everything. Local
charity luncheons, family get-togethers by the lake, a garden wedding
and even dinner parties in the field or an afternoon glass of tea with
a friend. Next up? A birthday party for a tree.
restored by the Meyers through the years, the property is home to a
combination of nature’s beauty and Tiz Meyer’s iron creations.
Surrounded by 4.5 miles of stone fences, the original Welsh settlers
moved these giant, glacier-driven stones, to the land in the late 19th
century. "I marvel at how they moved them," Tiz Meyer
remarks. The couple have taken great care to respect the vision and
incredible hard work of the original owners. The founders raised sheep
and grew hops to sell to local breweries. Tamarack logs were used to
grow the hops, so in several places around the property, Meyer has
constructed tamarack racks as a tribute. They also have sheep.
welding classes, Meyer, a former art and antiques dealer, used her
endless creative energy to construct a number of iron sculptures and
fantasy pieces that are strategically placed around the property.
There is a story behind every one. Many are inspired by her love of
children and all-things family, others by her awe of the land and
nature that surrounds her.
Now back to that
party for the tree. "We have the champion bur oak in the
state," Meyer says. "It is 23 feet around its base. Several
years ago it was determined that the tree was an acorn in 1711 so this
summer we will be having a 300-year birthday party to celebrate.
Mother Nature surprises us every day. I feel so lucky to be a part of
most of the original buildings on the property were saved, the
largest barn was too far gone and had to be razed. Left behind
was the original stone wall. "I knew it was the perfect
spot for a sunken garden. This place has extra special meaning
to me. I have plants from my mother and grandmother and my
daughter was married here." The iron fence surrounding the
top of the wall was Meyer’s first welding project. "I
love putting together fantasy pieces. Folk art characters,
musical instruments, games like tic-tac-toe, a bike, tractor
seats and even old tools and other implements brought to me by
local farmers are incorporated into this crazy fence. There is
even an iron man with no face, so kids can put their heads into
reproduction of a Greek head guards a garden entrance.
"When I first saw him, I liked his face and what he depicts
in history," Meyer says. Next to him is an original
watering tank that now holds garden tools.
stocked with blue gill and large-mouth bass, Tiz and Glenn Meyer
dug the six-acre lake several years after purchasing the
property and asked their grandchildren to name it. They were
thrilled when the kids came up with Lake No Na Pa, which are
nicknames for their grandparents. Being Native American history
buffs, the Meyers also like its Native American sound. The
colorful umbrellas and gazebo make it a great family gathering
spot for swimming and fishing.
pergola outside the main house is the perfect spot for a glass
of lemonade on a warm spring day. Salvaged beams from the large
barn and stained glass windows from her former antiques business
are flanked by Meyer’s cut iron panels of the sun and
This story ran in the April 2011 issue of: