John and Karen grew up in the Midwest but moved to the East coast in the 1970s. In 2006, we decided that we wanted to move to a small town in the Midwest so that we would be closer to our families and have a more relaxed lifestyle. We also decided to pursue our longstanding dream of owning a bed and breakfast establishment. In October 2007, John retired from his job as an associate housing court attorney, Karen became a telecommuter with the Aspen Institute, we sold our Victorian home in Brooklyn, New York (that we’d spent eight years restoring and renovating), and moved to Ye Olde Manor House.
We enjoy old homes and have restored, renovated, and redecorated this charming English manor house. During our first year here, we installed a new kitchen, refinished the maple floors in the living and dining rooms, and installed new oak floors in three guest rooms. We painted and decorated throughout, using antiques from our Brooklyn home and from local antique shops and fairs. We love gardening and managed to do a bit of landscaping when we moved here before the world, as we knew it, froze. We planted over 400 tulip, daffodil, and crocus bulbs, as well as peonies, hydrangeas, honeysuckles, and dwarf evergreens. We planted an English garden, a vegetable garden, a fruit orchard and several more flowerbeds filled with hollyhocks, foxgloves, delphiniums, pansies, four-o-clocks, roses, and other cottage garden flowers on our three acres. During our second year here we added four more guest rooms and an indoor heated swimming pool. Now we can accommodate up to 20 people and our guests can swim during the summer surrounded by views of our gorgeous gardens, and during the winter can do so while watching the sun or moonlight reflect on the snow.
John loves water features; he maintained a 110 gallon saltwater aquarium at our home in Brooklyn. While we don’t have quite as large an aquarium here, we do have several water features. We have a 55 gallon saltwater aquarium in our gatheriing room, a water garden in our atrium, and a koi pond across from the swimming pool. Karen loves reading conspiracy theory novels and watching comedies, so you can expect to find some of the most gripping novels and funniest movies in our living room library available for use during your stay with us.
Our goal is to live fully, laugh often, relax, and enjoy life in a lovely, retreat setting. Our motto, quite simply, is to treat our guests as we like to be treated…beautiful art on the walls, wireless internet, gorgeous antiques balanced with traditional new pieces, high thread count cotton bed linens, thick and fluffy cotton bath towels and robes, and delicious breakfasts. We feel that we’ve achieved our goal at Ye Olde Manor House and we look forward to making your visit as enjoyable as possible.