Courtesy of Don Vernon
Romancing the Past
Romancing the Past B & B in Fulton offers rooms ranging from $120 to $175.
It was love that brought Jim and Cathlynn (Cate) Dodson from California to Missouri.
“I was having job burnout in Los Angeles,” said Jim. “Cate was a freelance writer who could work anywhere. We were ready for a change, and we had always romanticized about having a B and B.” Cate searched the internet for bead-and-breakfasts for sale in the Midwest. They found Romancing the Past in Fulton, a Victorian mansion that had been an inn since 1996.
“We came here and fell in love with this place,” she said. “We loved the house. We loved the street. We loved the hospitality of the people.” That was in July of 2004; by November they were innkeepers.
Running a bed-and-breakfast is perfect for the two. Jim loves to cook and is a handyman; Cate loves to bake. The friendly couple enjoy entertaining and giving guests a taste of Victorian life. Some evenings, Cate may read aloud from her great-grandfather’s love letters while Jim plays piano.
Still, they have time to pursue their work: Cate writes in the evenings; Jim designs brochures and web sites.
The 1868 farmhouse was built by John H. Jameson, son of a two-time Missouri congressman. I[dated in 1880, the home itself is a feast for the eye. Inlaid wood floors and burled, carved walnut woodwork create a backdrop for lace, velvet, antique furnishings, and a profusion of bric-a-brac. The entryway is lavish with a carved archway and winding staircase; a nearby parlor has an old-fashioned Victrola, a cozy fireplace, and stacks of reading materials.
The three guest rooms have antique furnishings, queen-size beds, fireplaces, roomy new bathrooms, and internet access. The Renaissance Suite has Victorian walnut furniture and a spate sitting room with daybed; the bath has a room-size shower. Miss Jamie’s study, named for the original lady of the house, Charlotte Jameson, is a rich, jewel-toned bedroom that features a wall of floor-to-ceiling bookcase and memorabilia. The Victorian Rose Room is light and airy, with a floral motif, wicker, and its own private balcony. The claw-footed bath offers nostalgic charm. Room rates range from $120 to $175.
A full breakfast includes specialties of the house, such as Jim’s Berry Good Stuffed French Toast or smoked, bacon-wrapped eggs with hollandaise sauce and rosemary-parmesan potatoes.
Guests may relax in the gardens and gazebo, take a soak in the outdoor hot tub, or rest on the shady porch. Visitors may enjoy a walking tour of other historic houses in the neighborhood or stroll to the antique stores, restaurants, shops, and the historical society museum on the town square. The historic campuses of Westminster College, with the Winston Churchill Memorial and Library, and William Woods University are a few blocks away.
Romancing the Past Bed & Breakfast is at 830 Court Street in Fulton. Call 573-592-1996 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information visit www.romancingthepast.com.