The buildings that are now part of Billieville were originally just pole barns out in the woods, used for storing antiques and equipment. To help fill the need for meeting facilities, it was decided to create a conference area in the peaceful surroundings of this wooded area of the farm. Ed Lowe, with his whimsical sense of fun, designed the facades as old storefronts modeled after a turn-of-the-century town. The name is for his wife, Darlene, whose middle name is Billie.

The conference room and small tavern were completed in 1987, and a couple of years later the current Leisure Center was added to the complex. The adjacent Billygoat Tavern (named after a favorite Chicago eatery) provides breakout space for small groups. Of special interest are the antique hand-controlled football game, the stained-glass window salvaged from a Chicago business, and the antique bar that came from an old building in the town of Jones, Michigan.

The Billieville Leisure Center offers a fun place to kick back and watch a movie or partake in a game of ping pong for guests when retreat curriculum affords them a break. A kitchen offers snacks and beverages and the two lounges, furnished in American traditional décor, one with a cozy fireplace, make the potential uses for this space many and varied. The solid walnut paneling and flooring were made from trees harvested and milled on the property and add a special warmth and richness.

The Tower of Tomorrow took over as the main conference and dining location for events upon its completion in 2010. But Billieville remains core to the guest experience here at the foundation as a truly, one-of-a-kind place!

Other nearby points of interest