The Union Recorder


October 30, 2009

Willis House has long history of great food, great events

Walking up to the front door of The Willis House is like stepping back in time, and one of the first things to greet visitors is a plaque noting the house’s placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

For owners Mel and Saralyn Latham, the home itself is a monument to historic value and present-day functionality.

“This house has been in our family since 1898,” Latham said. “Until 1980, Sissy Willis lived here. We’ve had 28 years in The Willis House.”

The Willis House serves as a venue for parties and events all throughout the year. The business is a one-stop shop for weddings, receptions as well as rehearsal dinners. The Lathams have first-hand experience with weddings in the halls of the home as they were married there themselves 46 years ago.

“When Mel and I were married, Sissy Willis fixed us a basket of food and champagne,” Latham said. “Always when I do a wedding now, I pack a basket for the bride and groom.”

In addition to weddings, The Willis House is the site of parties throughout the year and when weather permits, Latham said, garden parties. The house has 10 acres that are adjoining to Lockerly Arboretum.

“We do a lot of weddings, but we do a lot of cooking, too,” Latham said.

Throughout the year, customers will call on The Willis House to provide meals for family gatherings and other events.

Then, on Easter, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas, Latham opens the doors for holiday meals. Customers make reservations months in advance and try to get a seat for a holiday buffet prepared by The Willis House staff.

“Everything we make is made from scratch,” Latham said. “We go that extra mile for it.”

To book an event at The Willis House or to make reservations for a holiday buffet, call Saralyn Latham at (478) 452-2181.

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