New Event Center to Open


The wait is finally over, and south east Minnesota has a new venue for weddings, community gatherings and event for all. It is only 8 miles north of Rochester in the hidden gem of Oronoco. The address is 25 2nd street SE Oronoco, MN 55960.

Jessie and Jared Maes purchased the School House in the fall of 2018 from David Kemmer, a piano restoration expert who restored and tuned pianos in the area. At the time of purchase, there were over 20 pianos, organs and even an antique harpsichord, along with a square grand piano inside. The piano was built in 1870 for Reginald DeKoven, who later composed the famous wedding song, “Oh Promise Me” on this piano. Mr. Kemmer was a walking historian and shared many stories about the history of the School House and all of its glory. If interested in learning more about the history of the School House, it is not only on the front cover of the book, Oronoco, Past and Present by Elsie Boutelle, but is documented throughout the book as well. The book gives the reader great insight into the history of the building.

Jessie and Jared began the renovations to retore the 150 year old building and bring back the historical quality for generations to enjoy for years to come. After tearing out all the outdated electrical and plumbing and bringing it up to code, most of the building is still as it was. The charming woodwork, and the spiral staircase stand is a magnificent tribute to the 1800’s and will make a splendid back drop for wedding photos, private events and other celebrations. The new deck that surrounds the building and is handicap accessible, looks over the Zumbro river, bringing a calm and peaceful ambience to the venue. An amphitheater for outdoor weddings completes the effect of elegant pageantry, with an arch to have flowers and greens accent the ceremony.

Amenities include a plush bridal suite for the bride and her entourage to get ready for the wedding, on site. There is a catering room to keep the food fresh, and 3 bathrooms for your guest's convenience. Central heating and air conditioning complete the comfort of the whole experience.

On the opposite side of the building, there is outdoor space for events and activities for your guest's enjoyment. You will be able to rent the venue for weddings, private events, social gatherings and business meetings. They also look forward to hosting many community events. If you are looking to participate in, or host a future event at the school house, check out their website at . To contact Jessie with questions, call 507.718.0454 or email her at

Jessie and Jared would like to thank the community of Oronoco for their ongoing support and guidance, the contractors, and friends and family who made it all come together.

The Grand Opening is set for the weekend of Gold Rush, August 18, 19 and 20. They hope to see you there to take a look around ask questions. The School House is now open for site tours and bookings for your special occasions. Everyone who stops in to view the venue during the Grand Opening will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win 50% off one venue rental for your next personal event. Make sure to stop by and register!

Life is an Event. Enjoy it!