Farms and ranches dot the Big Country landscape. Country folk drive to the thriving metropolis of Abilene for the conveniences of healthcare, shopping, and entertainment. Likewise, city folk drive to the country to get away from the daily hustle and bustle. And on one of these well-traveled back and forth roads is Barn 89. For many years, this big red barn on FM-89 was a fancy horse training facility. But life happened, the stables sat vacant, and the property was eventually sold.
When Jason and Megan Boyd bought this property in 2020, they had no idea what they would do with a horse barn and stables. They were city folk, growing up in Abilene proper and in Granbury. They wanted a property they could section off for Megan’s parents to build a home close by and have a workshop for Jason. They could do those things here. They rented the barn and stables to a horse trainer for a while, but it was only temporary.
Before moving back to Abilene, the Boyds had fully embraced big city life during their young adult years in Dallas, where Jason worked as a loan officer at a bank. He helped entrepreneurs get loans to start businesses. “Banking shows you a lot of different industries, but every time I sat at the table, I thought, ‘This is someone else’s dream. I’m on the wrong side of the table.’” Their young kids were growing up, too, and the Boyds wanted to move closer to family. Abilene would provide nearness to family and an opportunity to become entrepreneurs.
Once in Abilene, Jason started a landscaping company, but the weekend and after-hours work did not align with his need for time with his kids and wife. Besides family time, the Boyds value hospitality. Jason and Megan have always dreamt of sharing their home with others, so they filled a need in the Abilene community by becoming foster parents. Opening their home to a couple of sweet foster babies opened their eyes to their love of service and relationship. After reunification, though, they took a step back to refocus.
What do they want in life? How do they want to spend their time? What is important to their family? How can they use their resources to accomplish these goals? Entrepreneurship. Hospitality. Service. Relationship. They researched. They prayed. They homeschooled and traveled. And they considered: how could they use this massive property they owned to strengthen their family and bless others?
The answer became very clear. Their simple barn and stables would be a fantastic event venue, authentically celebrating the cowboy culture of the Big Country. The barn could be an indoor arena with an outdoor feel, complete with a stage and dance floor. The stables could be the bridal and groom’s suites. The fenced off playground would be perfect for kids to safely play during the reception. Their donkeys, Yoda and Chewy, would definitely be part of the aesthetic. The Boyd family got right to work.
The beauty of Barn 89 is its simplicity and practicality. Outdoor events seem idyllic, but the weather often has other plans. In Barn 89, the arena is fully covered, so the West Texas wind does not ruin an event. The crushed granite floors look like the caliche roads of beloved ranches without all the dust. Barn 89 pricing is competitive, making it a budget-friendly option in a beautiful destination. The space is simple enough for a company Christmas party and exquisite enough for a wedding.
With the venue up and running, the Boyds chose to invest again in the local public schools as teachers and students. Megan teaches at the middle school level, and Jason teaches an entrepreneur class at one of the high schools. “Two teacher incomes didn’t allow us to give back like we wanted. So the extra income from the venue allows us to be generous and hospitable.” Jason is on the right side of that table now, in an industry that aligns with his goals and values. The Boyds are stewarding their property in a way that blesses others and celebrates the cowboy lifestyle vital in the Big Country.
Cowboy hats and boots are highly recommended.
Barn 89, 1610 FM 89, Abilene, TX
By Laura Daulton
Photos By SJ Photography and Sun Tea Photography