The owners of
Rustic Manor 1848, a unique barn wedding and banquet
facility on Highway 83 between Hartland and Delafield,
won approval from the Plan Commission to expand the barn
and provide more space for clients attending weddings
and banquets. The Common Council is expected to approve
the commission’s recommendation.
Kelly Smith/Special to The
DELAFIELD — Because of their entrepreneurial spirit and
ability to work with government bureaucracies, Eric and
Whitney Shneyder are familiar faces in City Hall.
Last week, following a brief public hearing, the Plan
Commission unanimously approved plans for a 2,000-square
foot expansion of Rustic Manor 1848, the scenic and
unique barn wedding and banquet venue owned by the
After the meeting, Eric Shneyder told The Freeman the
new additions are part of a plan to make clients more
comfortable in a steadily expanding business that in the
future will include a photographic studio.
am very pleased at the success that this young couple
has had,” Mayor Michele DeYoe said later.
“Their hard work and entrepreneurial spirit has helped
make the city of Delafield a destination for a unique
wedding and banquet facility that benefits the entire
community,” she added.
When they first appeared before the commission nearly 8
years ago, Whitney Probst of Hartland and Eric Shneyder
of Pewaukee were madly in love millennials in their
mid-20s who could not find a Lake Country wedding venue
that suited them.
they dreamed of turning a more than 160-year-old
farmhouse, along with its barn and 12 acres of scenic
woodlands, into a destination venue for weddings and
they faced a bureaucratic nightmare because the Walcott
family farmhouse and barn were located on a state
highway, near the border of two municipalities, within
the boundaries of complicated sewer service and border
agreements, and some of the property was environmentally
sensitive because a river ran through it.
took 18 months and more than two dozen meetings with six
different agencies to obtain approvals for the business
located at 3115 Highway 83.
Between May of 2013 and September of 2014 they met with
officials representing Delafield, Hartland, the
Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Wisconsin
Department of Natural Resources, the Hartland-Delafield
Water Pollution Commission and Lake Country Fire &
They had to pay $80,000 to hook into sewer service.
They had to pay about $10,000 to have an additional fire
hydrant installed even though there were already two
other hydrants on the property.
experience, attention to detail
Between them, they have nearly 20 years’ experience in
the hospitality industry.
was the manager of a popular ski slope in Slinger. He
was a cook at popular Milwaukee restaurant when they met
at a culinary class at Milwaukee Area Technical College.
They developed an 80-page business plan and impressed
local authorities with their attention to detail and
knowledge of the regulations of each of the units of
“Whitney was the best prepared, most buttoned-down
neophyte developer that I have ever dealt with. I have
had experienced developers who were not as well prepared
when they came to meetings as she was,” City Planner
Roger Dupler told a reporter in 2015.
Dupler and Common Council President Tim Aicher were
chatting about the Shneyders before last week’s Plan
“They ought to hire themselves out as consultants who
can help other people get through this process,” said
Aicher, who is also a plan commissioner.
Usually they appear together but during the Oct. 25
commission meeting, Eric was on his own; Whitney was
“under the weather” with the flu and unable to attend.
new addition will increase the seating capacity of the
barn for weddings and banquets and provide more
efficiency in the storage of liquor and beer.
They also requested an addition to their home on the
site that will provide for a covered garage and possibly
additional bed-and-breakfast facilities in the future.
work is expected to be completed in the late fall and
business will be closed, as usual, in February and
reopen with a March 7th open house showing off the
improvements in the barn.
Expansion of the farmhouse residence is expected by
is the story of two people who have worked very hard to
develop a business that tries to provide the best
service it can,” Eric Shneyder concluded.