This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

eMbers is now open

I had an opportunity to take a peek inside of the eMbers event hall on Monday and because I have been watching the transformation of this building for over two years, it was an opportunity I could not pass up.

Entering the building, you see a large, unbroken space that can be filled in many different ways for many different kinds of events. The building itself is made of two parts. The front part dates back over a hundred years and the back part, which is beyond the doorway at the back of the picture below, was constructed about 60 years ago.
For some comparisons to what this interior looked like two years ago, see the post here.
 When filled with tables for a meal, the space can hold about 200 people. If it is used for a reception without the large tables, it can hold about double that number of people. If you rent the space, you get to use the chairs and long tables. You can also use other furniture, but you may have to rent that from other vendors.

The old metal ceiling has been retained, though it has been painted a darker color.
 The bar is new, and was made from wood from the old gym floor that used to be at the Monnett School. The floor of the building has been cleaned up and sealed, but it has not been sanded so it retains the dark color it has acquired over the past century. The wall in the background is the original brick wall that supports the building. It is about four layers thick. In the background and to the right  you can see the women's restroom.
 Behind the bar is the old safe that may have been installed during construction of the building. It has been moved, and that was a day long project. The safe is locked and if you can unlock it, the owners will share the contents with you. (A challenge for any safe crackers who read this blog.)

eMbers has a liquor license that allows them to serve liquor at private parties. For public parties, they need to give advance notification to the state.

As you leave the older part of the building, you leave the wooden floors and walk on concrete. This area has the restrooms and since there is no basement below, installing the plumbing was a challenge. In addition to restrooms, there is a small room that can be used as a bridal room for wedding receptions.
 A small kitchen area is also in the back. The facilities here are not meant to allow complete preparation of food. Rather people are supposed to prepare food offsite and it can then be kept warm here until it is served.
The event hall can be used for a wide variety of events--wedding receptions, showers of various types, many types of parties (there is special pricing now for graduation parties), business meetings or luncheons, and anything else that people can think of. If people want to plan everything themselves, they can do that. If they want help, the Musches can help them with planning. (Janelle Musch is an event coordinator at Purdue, so she has the background to help with just about any type of event.) You can use any caterer you desire, but if you have no ideas for catering, eMbers can make suggestions.

The really big news is that on April 26 and 27 there will be several events to which the public is invited. Some of them are limited to those over 21, but on Saturday the 27th from 4 to 7 there will be an open house and tours for all ages. (See the sidebar for more information.)

eMbers has an excellent website at and actively posts on Facebook. You can find more (and better) pictures there as well as a lot more information.


And now for something completely different: Fifty years ago, on April 17 1963, an F4 tornado touched down near Kankakee, Il and traveled 76 miles though Illinois and Newton and Jasper Counties, lifting before it came to Medaryville. At the time the 76 miles was a record length for a tornado. The tornado destroyed many houses and there was looting that followed the tragedy. Do you remember it?

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