On Tuesday, Nov. 12, Nevada area residents are invited to join Barbara and Larry Howard as they celebrate the grand opening of the Queen Anne Bed and Breakfast at 1110 Ninth St. in Nevada.
Some local residents may remember the first opening of the Queen Anne Bed and Breakfast back in 1989, when the home was owned by Phil and Paula Page. The Pages ran the business for approximately four-and-a-half years and had planned to expand it, until Paula suffered a brain aneurysm in 1992. The Pages eventually closed the bed and breakfast but continued ownership of the home until selling it this past year to the Howards.
"I think it will be interesting that people can come stay here again, since the bed and breakfast hasn’t been open for a number of years," said Larry.
The Howards commend the previous owners on keeping the historic home, which was placed on the National Register of Historical Places on Nov. 14, 1978, in excellent condition.
"I love old, antique things, beautiful things that people have taken good care of," said Barbara, and she looks over to one of the heat registers to provide an example. The Pages had specially sealed the registers, giving them a wonderful shine and preserving their historic appearance. They took great care of the many historic elements of the house.
When it comes to owning and operating a bed and breakfast, Barbara said it’s something she’s always wanted to do, and she felt it was something that her husband could do with her since he will retire from his full-time career in about a year-and-a-half.
Larry’s career has been a huge time commitment over the years. He works for a company called Schlumberger, headquartered in Paris, and is involved in ship design and construction. The ship he’s currently working on is in Germany. "These are long-term projects, taking several years at a time. I work on very large ships," he said.
With his job, Larry and Barbara have traveled and lived all over the world, but Larry is originally from Central Iowa. He was born in Nevada and went to school in Zearing. His family’s farmstead is near St. Anthony, and is the place he and his wife have called home since 2004, when they moved back to Story County after living overseas. Their two daughters, now grown, were teenagers at the time they moved back.
Barbara is originally from Oregon. She met Larry almost 27 years ago through her stepfather, who also worked for Schlumberger. Barbara has worked at different jobs over the years. She’s worked as a massage therapist and at Mom’s Meals in Nevada, and she’s been very involved in running the family’s four farms in central Iowa and helping with the wool business they own.
She’s especially excited, though, about this new venture of running a bed and breakfast, as she loves to care for people, cook for people and meet and visit with people.
It was the couple’s anniversary when they were driving through Nevada and first saw the Page home. "I thought it was a bed and breakfast, so I knocked on the door," she said. That started nearly two years of talking about purchasing the home. "It took us quite a while to figure everything out," Barbara said.
The Howards are now very excited about their new opportunity. After visiting and staying in nearly 20 different countries over the years and in a number of hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts, Larry said, "We feel pretty well-qualified for this. We feel that we can better entertain and make sure our guests are comfortable, because we’ve experienced traveling a lot," he said.
Barbara, in fact, has been busy getting marketing pieces ready and establishing a presence on the Internet for the Queen Anne Bed and Breakfast. Her printed brochure shares a number of activities and events that people can enjoy during their stay, including events at Iowa State University, local restaurants, shopping opportunities, recreational opportunities, Nevada’s historic properties, Hickory Grove Lake, the Lincoln Highway and more.
Marketing pieces will also highlight the Queen Anne Bed and Breakfast history and accommodations. The historic home was built in 1878 by Clayton F. Edwards, a local dry goods merchant. When listed on the National Register, the home was known as the Edward Swayze House.
Visitors will enjoy the home’s Victorian architecture and interior features like embossed paper ceilings, stained glass windows, wainscoting and parquet floors.
The four spacious guest bedrooms are furnished impeccably, and each features a new flat screen television with Netflix. There is even a handicap-accessible guest room on the main floor of the house, where all of the guests will also find a spacious sitting room with a fireplace and a large dining room.
"I want people to feel more like they’re at home here, more comfortable with a home-cooked meal for breakfast, snacks when they arrive, non-alcoholic drinks…," Barb said. She also wants people to be able to enjoy visiting with herself and Larry to get advice about the town and places where they might want to visit or eat.
One of the more unique things that Barb is able to offer is wedding services. "I’m a wedding officiant, so if people would like to have a small wedding and reception here, we could handle that."
But for most, she just wants them to enjoy staying at the Queen Anne Bed and Breakfast. "It’s a pretty grand place, makes you feel special. This is a special place to get away and have a good time."
For those who can’t make the grand opening, Nov. 12, the Queen Anne Bed and Breakfast is one of the homes to be featured in this year’s holiday tour of homes event in Nevada.