The Lone Oak Farm Story

House & Site History

Built in 1906, the Lone Oak Farm site was home to venue partner, Melissa Oberlander's grand parents, Ralph and Helen Puton who moved to the property in 1951.  The couple built their family and life on the farmstead. Ralph and Helen farmed and enjoyed entertaining family and friends. Numerous gatherings, parties and holidays were celebrated. It was a welcoming home filled with food and laughter. The farmstead was a natural place where all felt comfortable to gather.


In 2016, Helen and Ralph moved off the farm and the farmstead sat quiet until the fall of 2020. 

Lone Oak Venue History

In 2019, friends Teresa and Melissa discussed Teresa's dream of owning a wedding venue. Melissa has always loved weddings and coordinating events so the friends began their partnership. The search began for the perfect farmstead with an existing barn. It was challenging to find a large enough property including a large barn in the area. The idea to move a barn onto a property was discussed and also to build a new barn that would accommodate the space and modern facilities needed.


Their long search ended with the idea to turn Ralph and Helen's farmstead into a wedding venue. The beautiful scenery, existing farmhouse and space to build a new barn appeared to be the perfect solution. After nearly 2 years, Teresa and Melissa purchased the property in November of 2020.

The existing farmhouse is currently being remodeled to become the bridal suite as well as guest rooms. The mezzanine in the new barn will become the groom's suite.

The venue's name, Lone Oak Farm, is in honor of the only Oak tree on the property surrounded by mature cottonwood trees. The Oak tree was gifted to Helen by Mike Smith, a friend all her life. The Oak tree can be
admired off the sunporch of the farmhouse.


Numerous picturesque locations are found throughout the farmstead in all seasons. 



Owner, Venue Management

Lone Oak Farm brings me peace. To me this is more than a place or venue, it means family, celebrating life’s most memorable moments. It means getting away from the hustle and bustle of life to enjoy wide open spaces, sunrises and sunsets (what I enjoy most!), nature and fresh air. This is why I choose to move across the road 10 years ago, where I can enjoy all of this daily. I want to share this hidden gem with others so they can experience God’s country with their own friends and family. 

Melissa, an Ayr, North Dakota native, knew her roots would call her home. With her family's history in the area, she and her husband knew the quiet rural area near Lone Oak would be their just the place to raise their family.

After graduating with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Social Work from University of North Dakota , Melissa and her high school sweetheart, Jay, lived in Horace for 8 years until moving to Ayr. The two now have two teenage boys, Gavin and Ian. 

Melissa's passions include helping others, volunteering at church and in the community, gardening, baking, traveling, spending time with family at the lake and coordinating events. 

Owner, Venue Management

I can sincerely say Lone Oak is unlike any other place in the area. There are century old gorgeous cottonwoods, over a mile of walking paths through North Dakota’s unique prairie grasses, a rolling landscape showcasing amazing sunsets bursting with color.

Every time I am here I am in awe with its beauty and it gives me a sense of peace and calm that I can’t wait for others to enjoy!

Ever since I can remember I wanted to do my own thing, work for myself. It wasn’t until 2018 after going to two friends’ weddings, one at the Firefly Event Barn in Nevis, Minnesota and the other at Draxton’s Barn in Northwood, North Dakota,  where I truly felt this is what I was meant to do. Both events were magical, personal, beautiful and unique in showcasing the momentous event I had the privilege to share with each of my friends. It may sound cliché to say, but these events seriously changed my life.


I came home and started talking to a friend about my dream and she said you’re too late there’s a wedding venue being constructed west of Fargo, and shortly after the beautiful Pines was born. I honestly was really sad and discouraged and my plan went stagnant for over a year.

 It wasn’t until a beautiful property near Fargo came for sale, that my idea of creating an event venue begin to again cultivate. I showed my husband, who is used to my flight of ideas, and he said go look at it. I did and the dream was resurrected. 

After connecting with Melissa regarding the plan we continued to look for the perfect property. As we were looking, Melissa’s Dad kept asking why we were looking for properties and suggested we use Melissa’s grandparents’ farm. Finding a farm property period in Cass County is nearly impossible, so we thought we should take a look!


We looked, imagined, dreamed, and with a ton of support from family and friends and local contractors my dream started to become a reality.


In my professional career as a registered nurse. I’ve had the opportunity to serve others during significant life events; births, surgeries, oncology diagnoses and end of life. I feel honored to provide a continuum of this service during weddings, reunions, retreats, graduations and feel privileged that others trust us and Lone Oak to make their event “their once in a lifetime.”


Being from Arthur, North Dakota, I was honored to have my personal wedding at one of North Dakota most famous barns, Johnson’s Barn, and I hope in the future people that choose Lone Oak will also share the love of the environment as I did my own.


Teresa and her husband, John, live in Casselton with two daughters, Makelle and Ava. Teresa has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Nursing and a Masters of Science Degree in Leadership.

Jay & Melissa Oberlander
John & Teresa Gulleson