The home was built in 1976 and influenced by the owners' roots from Detroit. It is a classic and elegant stately center hall plan with a mansard roof, assimilating architecture from the second empire period in Europe.
The house sits on two acres atop a hill with its own fruit orchard and has a breathtaking panoramic view of argricultural fields and orchards surrounding it on all sides. The interior boasts a circular staircase and beamed ceilings in two principle rooms.
St Johns Bed and Breakfast was born from the vision of its current owners. Discovering the unique setting and seeing its potential, the 3 year renovations began. The large deck and encompassing pond were added over the first two years. An upper library/den and pantry were added the third year. A collection of select antiques and artifacts reflecting the hosts' interests complete the ambiance. Renovations still continue. This year, the 30 yr old octagonal shed was transformed into a gazebo. It is now well enjoyed by guests for early morning coffee and midday or late evening beverages.
In the year 2007
A SUCCESSFUL OPENING
St Johns Bed and Breakfast opened in May of 2007. Drawing attention from the Norfolk Simcoe Rotary Club, it was asked to participate in the HOLIDAY HOUSE TOUR 2007. which attracted over 500 visitors.
Furthest guests in 2007 were from Holland (just knocked on the door!)
In the year 2008
In 2008, St Johns Bed and Breakfast earned a great review after Janette Higgins, a travel writer stayed here in cognito. (didn't reveal who she was until after breakfast was served.)
Another highlight that year was the privilege of hosting a fundraising dinner for one of Canada's most produced playwrights, Norm Foster. So began its relationship with Port Dover's. Lighthouse Festival Theatre.
Our furthest guest in 2008, was a guest of The Rotary Club of Norfolk Sunrise from The Congo.
In the year 2009
As with every year, 2009 was made successful by our guests. Meeting such interesting people is one of the perks of being b&b hosts. Some have even become friends.
Just this year alone, we've met local people (staycations) and others from the east and west coast of Canada, eastern United States, Europe and Asia. Some of our repeat guests (visiting family and die hard pd13'ers) have consistantly returned every year.
Furthest guests in 2009 thus far have been a bride and groom living in Korea but here for their wedding.
We've been made a part of many celebrations; local weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, christenings, quiet get aways and personal retreats.
Others just come to enjoy what Norfolk County has to offer. We are pulled into their daily experiences; beaches, theatre, culinary dining, winery tours, bird watching, hiking, cycling, zip lining, golfing, fruit picking etc.
Thank you all for the personal thank you cards and compliments signed in our guest book. To our many brides and grooms after choosing us for their wedding night, a special thank you for the promised wedding photographs sent to us later by mail.
In the year 2010
The renovations started early January with hopes of being completed by early spring. Very exciting, the marble sits waiting and the double slipper clawfoot tub is in transit.
Although these renovations were interupted due to family illness and loss, they are now complete.
Our year brought guests from as far as South Korea. One set of guests have become regular jam friends, another has moved here after falling in love with the area and a third we have some how inspired to open their own bed and breakfast and are helping them along with their questions. We also had the priviledge of having a very special long term guest here from England who when left was much more then just a guest. I miss his daily greeting "Honey, I'm home!"
In the year 2011
So far, simply put COLD!
Well, by early June, we've gone from COLD in winter to a WET spring. Such a wet spring certainly does make for a lush, green and beautiful garden though. Blue Heron's are beautiful creatures but a pest to a gardener trying to protect his fish from being an all you can eat buffet.
The good news is that we've attracted many more european and international guests so far this year (France, England, Ireland, Netherland, Germany, Australia and Hungary)
Our youngest guest Andrew here for a wedding with his parents was our favorite guest this year. The fish went into mourning after he left and stopped feeding them.
Our wooden shed is now finished just in time for winter's snow. (The existing aluminum shed was torn away by tornado winds in April)
Our regular pd13 guests left very happy this year and excitedly wait for next year; for there are three Friday 13's in 2012!
In the year 2012
This will be a year of great change and with it only good will come. Steve will be retiring and so can finally give our gardens his full attention. I'm sure his new sailboat will be a distraction though.
The year started off hot and with a loss. Our gold fish of 5 years died in a pond that read 73* temperature March 17?
We also lost all our fruit for the season the very hot spring was followed by late frost. Not even our hardy winter pears could take the severe frost after summer like temperatures in March.
We sailed between b&b guests and had our first fall with no apples for homemade pies.
In the year 2013
Well the temperature again this spring is all over the map but the robins tell us winter is definitely over. We are hoping no late frost appears in May so our apples will be abundant for sauteing for french toast or baking into desserts.
Very anxious to uncover our sailboat this spring for our second year of sailing.
With loss comes gain; we are very anxious to have the priviledge of hosting a 16yr old female exchange student from France through a Rotary program this winter!
"I just love our winter b&b guests!