$200K renovation transforms historic Zeeland mansion to period B&B

A renovated 19th Century French Italianate mansion has become Zeeland's first bed and breakfast. The Baert Baron Mansion Bed & Breakfast, 120 S. Church St., opened in July after owners Vic and Anna VanDeventer invested $200,000 transforming the 14-room manor house into a home away from home for visitors.

"It was built for others to enjoy over 100 years ago," Anna VanDeventer says. She and Vic purchased the mansion some 10 years ago after relocating to Zeeland from Southern Indiana five years earlier. "When we first moved to Zeeland, we said if we could ever own that home it would be a bed & breakfast."

New this fall at the mansion is Anna's Café, offering soups, salads, sandwiches, coffee and teas during lunchtime hours.

Dr. Daniel Baert built the home in 1872. The VanDeventers spent three years, 51 weeks and four days restoring all 5,000 square feet of the structure which includes four guest bedrooms with traditional Victorian décor, a dressing room, a large dining room, parlor, formal living room, a four seasons room, a library, and an attic redesigned as a suite. They also added a commercial kitchen and renovated the carriage house.

The mansion has the original woodwork. Restoration included refinishing the original floors, stenciling the ceilings with 1830s patterns and outfitting the bathrooms with claw foot tubs similar to the originals.

Although the historic ambience is the focal point, the VanDeventers didn't forget modern amenities such as wireless Internet access and the 1,700-square-foot patio where guests can relax and enjoy the newly-landscaped surroundings.

Source: Anna VanDeventer, Baert Baron Mansion Bed & Breakfast

Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at deborah@rapidgrowthmedia.com.

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