The Olive Branch Retreat Destination StoryMarla & Jessica black background

The Olive Branch once was a retreat destination and home to the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls. In 2008 these women of spirit passed this extraordinary place on to the care and keeping of some spirited women. Marla Waseka and Jessica Town-Gunderson now offer this destination to the public for use as their own private destination. The Olive Branch has been renovated and restored into a cozy yet upscale retreat for all to enjoy. It includes light-filled rooms, incredible views, and vintage furniture all wrapped into a cozy ‘old world’ aesthetic.


Careful attention has been paid to preserving the character of the home while updating it for modern comfort. The nun’s chapel has been maintained and is a welcoming spiritual place. The original footprint of the home remains. Its unique horseshoe floor plan creates many different spaces – a welcoming landscaped Courtyard upon entry, a large social gathering space, private bedrooms and cozy meditating spaces.


In warmer months, the expansive patio offers ultimate outdoor dining and entertaining options. The nun’s chicken barn has new purpose – to beckon and entertain. Located closer to the lake, it is loaded with atmosphere. It provides additional gathering space with bathroom, wet bar, fire pit, and the original wood burning stove from the Convent.


Nature is abundant at the Olive Branch. There are walking trails for contemplative strolling (pay attention to the wild flowers). The extensive yard is perfect for play and relaxation. The lake invites you to experience loon watching in a canoe, trophy bass and pan fishing from the boat, leisurely cruising on the pontoon and a quick swim off the diving dock.


Marla and Jessica are dedicated to creating a unique and peaceful experience with unexpected surprises.


The getaways you could plan here are limited only to your imagination. But a word of caution: whatever you plan to do here, be prepared to return to the regular world a little transformed, and more than a little relaxed. Feel free to take home with you every portion of peacefulness you attain here.



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