Walking Tall On Memory Lane

  • Meet Blosom, the world's tallest cow according to Guinness World Records, and the ambassador for Memory Lane Crafting Retreat near Orangeville, Illinois.

    Read an article about Memory Lane and Blosom.

  • Gene Meads bought this dilapidated 106-acre farm in 1989, and worked tirelessly to transform it into a showplace. His daughter, Patty Hanson, worked with him on the farm, raising Holstein calves. He also grew corn, soybeans, and hay.

  • After her father passed away in 2010, Hanson couldn't bear to part with his farm. She turned the house into Memory Lane Crafting Retreat, a place for groups of women to gather and work on projects together.

  • The house features a large, open crafts room overlooking the pond. These ladies are having a scrapbooking retreat, preserving their memories at Memory Lane.

  • These ladies from South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Missouri gather at Memory Lane each year for a quilting retreat. As you can see, they are very productive!

  • Some groups, especially around the holidays, take advantage of the retreat's kitchen to make mass quantities of cookies. It's always more fun baking with a group!

  • The crafting retreat has accommodations for nine guests. With sleeping, eating, and crafting spaces all in one house, they can craft late into the night.

  • The house and barns sit right next to the stocked pond, and the deck is a great place to relax and enjoy the view.

  • The barn cats also enjoy the deck. Hanson has had dozens of stray and abandoned cats spayed and neutered. They have a home at Memory Lane, and repay her by keeping the mouse population under control in the barns.

  • The cats also enjoy hanging out with Blosom, although she doesn't seem too impressed with them.

  • When the foot trimmer struggled to get Blosom into his chute, he suggested Hanson contact the Guinness Book of World Records.

  • Blosom was measured very carefully, and Hanson had to fill out 17 pages of paperwork, but the London office of Guinness World Records has confirmed she is the world's tallest cow, measuring 6'4" at the withers.

  • A senior citizen herself at age 13, Blosom was invited to join the Red Hat Society by a group of ladies who visited the retreat. Blosom regularly wears hats and scarves as she welcomes guests.

  • Blosom isn't the only one at Memory Lane who enjoys a jaunty hat. There are 13 Ponies of America, a rescue Shetland, and a donkey on the farm.

  • Melvin is a favorite among visitors to Memory Lane, for obvious reasons.

  • It's always fun for guests to see babies on the farm. Elly and Emmy are a pretty pair.

  • While the crafters craft, work on the farm goes on. In addition to hay, corn and soybeans are grown.

  • The crafting retreat is open year-round. Even in the winter, visitors enjoy the beautiful sunsets. Hanson says guests from the city are awed by the scenery.

  • Hanson says she could never have made the leap to create Memory Lane without the support of her family. Here's Patty, daughter Laura, daughter and son-in-law Michelle and Dan Maturo, son Mike, and husband Les.

    Photos courtesy of Patty Hanson.

This farm-turned-retreat has a very special ambassador.

Read more about