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Couple buys Longaberger Homestead; wedding venue and more in the works – Zanesville Times Recorder

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Zanesville residents Curt and Dee Luburgh courted the owners of the Longaberger Homestead in Frazeysburg for three years before they finally got a yes to take over the full 37 acres.“The last conversation did it,” Curt laughed. “We purchased everything in January.”And by everything, he means the entire Longaberger Homestead, soup to nuts.

“The retail building, the basket, restaurant, Dave’s childhood home, the whole little town,” said Curt, who added there’s nothing in the purchase agreement that requires him to keep any of it as-is. “It’s a very iconic piece of property. It’s probably the most iconic piece of property in Muskingum County.”It’s that appreciation for the Longaberger Homestead that prompted Curt and his wife, Dee, to buy it.“I hated seeing it sitting there not being used,” said Curt, who works as a project manager for Luburgh Inc., a family construction business started by his grandfather in 1948 that’s built several large-scale industry projects in and around the area. “What we’re doing is opening this place up for the public. Before you could come in and tour it, but it really wasn’t at anybody’s grasp to utilize, but now we’re making it so it can be utilized.”Curt said he and his wife will split the 37 acres in half, keeping 18 of them to create one of the largest wedding venues in Ohio, holding up to 500 guests in the Crawford Barn and turning the Victorian House into a fully functional bridal suite.“When it’s done, and done correctly, it’ll stand amongst any place in Ohio. It will be a complete venue people can rent,” he said. “They’ll have access to the house, the barn, new golf carts, the grounds — they can pull in and spend the whole weekend taking care of everything they want to do.”He said they’re also working with Air BNBs right around the property and the hotels in Newark and Coshocton for travel accommodations for guests.“Everything guests need is within 10 to 15 minutes of the Barn.”But before the guests can arrive, he said, first they had to fix everything that was broken and worn from time.“We’re just getting the (Crawford Barn) back to the standard that it was when Dave Longaberger owned it,” said Curt.In the more than 2,500 square foot Victorian House, Curt said they started with the insides.“We went in and repaired all the dry wall, repainted the whole place, re-did the floors— it’s got all new interior and furnishings,” said Curt. “Now we’re redoing the outside, getting it new paint.”The Victorian House is planned to be a bridal suite, with three large bedrooms, three and half bathrooms, a functional kitchen, and living room. “We’re also putting in a really big makeup room for the girls,” he said.For the 25,000 square foot Crawford Barn, Curt said the next step is an upgrade to the interior.“We’re finalizing repairs of neglect and then we are approaching the city for major renovations,” said Curt. “We’re planning to open it up so it’s astonishing when you walk in.”As for the remaining 19 acres of the property, Curt said they have some very interested candidates.“We have people looking at it who have some amazing ideas of what they want to put in there,” he said, adding he’s open to sell or rent. “Nobody has settled on anything right now, but the interest is incredible what people want to do.”He said the Wonderful Lighting Company from Poland, which often works on amusement parks, is interested in putting in the world’s largest lighting display — but that’s still up in the air.“My main goal would be to sell the retail building, but I’m open on the rest of it.”For now, Curt and Dee are busy preparing the property for its first wedding post-purchase — their son’s.“My son Cole is getting married July 13,” he said. “So, I better have it done or my wife (will have something to say about it).”Indeed, given this project is a family affair.“Our two sons (Cole, 24, and Brock, 22) are up there with me after our day jobs,” said Curt. “I do the building and construction and (Dee) handles the furnishing, getting the vendors lined up, the website, the tours, interviewing wedding planners and the day-of staff. It’s every one of us.”Mixing family and business is just a natural way for Curt to do business.“(Our family) has been doing this since 1948,” he said. “It means everything. When you get right down to it, what we’re building will carry on throughout my personal family. It will be an option for my kids, their kids, as long as they want to carry it on.”While they’re booking tours and events now, a formal open house for the public is coming in late July.“It is one of a kind,” said Curt. “When we get it restored to its former glory, it’ll be the most unique space out there.”You can learn more at www.thecrawfordbarn.com.

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