Click here for a Summary for the Congregational Meeting and Vote On Freestone
Click here for Directions to Freestone
The congregation is currently in a decision-making process to determine the future of UUCB’s Freestone retreat property. A congregational vote is scheduled for October 23, 2022, following the worship service.
The Freestone Retreat is currently not available for overnight stays. Various repairs are in progress.
A timeline for the decision process is here, with dates and times of upcoming discussions. All congregants are encouraged to inform themselves by reviewing the documents indicated below, participating in discussions, and, if possible, visiting the retreat. Several group visits were hosted by Freestone Committee members over the summer. If you haven’t been there yet but would like to go—and especially if you would like to help with repairs and maintenance—please contact Dave Wemmer [click on his name to send him an email].
Get more information: Click below for a folder of informational documents to be used in the decision process.
Description of the retreat:
A forty-foot geodesic dome, stained in an earthen-redwood color, sits atop one of the rolling hills in Sonoma County. Pines, Douglas firs, oaks and madrones creep up the nearby slopes, yet from its westward-facing deck, a panoramic view greets the eyes: gentle hills and valleys stretching to the horizon, a lone “mountain” rising in the distance. The peaceful nature – the space – of the surroundings, and the space within the dome lend themselves to the repose and quietude for a spiritual as well as a physical retreat.
For more active days during your stay, potential excursions abound. The retreat is located three miles from the village of Freestone, six miles from central Sebastopol, eight from Occidental, and thirteen from Bodega Bay.
Within the dome, a free-standing, glass-encircled, wood-burning fireplace with its towering chimney serves to take the chill off on cool days. Large picture windows on three sides frame spectacular views; and at the east curve of the dome, a double counter marks off space for the McDaniels memorial kitchen. Three sets of pine trestle tables and benches, and four couches with removable foam seat and back cushions – all designed and built by members of the Freestone Retreat Committee over the years – complement the rural setting. Outside, under the nearest of several 200-year-old valley oak trees, is a barbecue pit. There is also a fenced platform that has been used for weddings and tent camping. Three bedrooms and two bathrooms (one with a shower) adjoin the domed great room. Each bedroom can sleep two or more persons; with the couches and foam sleeping pads in the dome itself, a maximum of 16 persons can be accommodated overnight. A well, drilled in 1992, provides a plentiful supply of clear, fresh water. In order to help maintain the serenity of the surroundings, there is no television service. Cell phone reception is good.
See a 12-minute video of the construction of the Freestone Dome by volunteers in the 1970s.
For more information, to arrange a daytime visit, or to join the Freestone Committee, contact Dave Wemmer.