A popular Sonora site for weddings has partially burned down.
Two cottages and the owner’s home at the Union Hill Inn were reduced to rubble and ashes Wednesday night.
But with a two-year long waiting list for couples who plan to marry, the owners of the inn are pressing forward despite the disaster.
Piles of blackened wood, rubble and devastation. A part of Union Hill Inn gone, a loss that shocked the owners.
"I was just numb. I’m numb now,” Barbara Stutzman, the Owner and Innkeeper said.
Stutzman and her husband Don have owned the inn for 18 years. On Wednesday Don saw a part of their business reduced to ashes.
"He felt the heat before he saw anything. Went out onto the veranda and there were flames,” Barbara said.
The fire destroyed two cottages and the Stutzmans' home. But it didn’t take the rest of the property where hundreds of couples will say their I do’s,
"The chapel and the hall and the dairy barn," Barbara said.
The inn is a very popular site, featured in “Brides” and “Martha Stewart” magazines. Their reservations reflect that with a two-year long waiting list.
“We’ll honor every one of the weddings," Barbara said.
The Stutzman’s had to work around the rubble Friday with a wedding just hours away. Employees were working around the clock get the grounds ready.
"They’ll have their weekend as usual and a wonderful wedding. There won’t be any difference," Barbara said.
The chapel is still in pristine condition. The owners plan to restore what burned down.
In the meantime they’ll do the best with what they have.
"We’re just so sorry," said Barbara.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.