September 28, 2019 at 6:14 a.m.

Dream dwelling

B&B is now open for business
Dream dwelling
Dream dwelling

By JACK RONALD
Publisher emeritus

Pat Daniels’ dream is coming true.

Now she just needs two more bathrooms.

“I wanted to do a bed and breakfast before I bought this house,” said Daniels.

“This house” is the historic 19th century near-mansion at 416 W. Arch St., Portland.

Designed by Samuel and Joseph Caither Newsom, a pair of architects known for their work on California’s Gold Coast, it was built by William and Carrie Ferris about 1895 at a cost of $7,000.

“It’s my favorite house in the world,” said Daniels.

Trouble is, a dwelling constructed more than 100 years ago as a single family home doesn’t always lend itself to modern uses.

Currently the house has one bathroom upstairs and a half-bath down. By next spring, Pat and Brad Daniels hope, it will have three upstairs bathrooms as well as the half-bath on the first floor.

Dubbed “Ferris House” in honor of its original owners, the Daniels’ property is now officially open for business as a bed and breakfast, though they’ll be more comfortable accepting guests once the bathroom work is done.

“We’re going into it slowly,” said Pat. “We already have more business than we really wanted. They’re calling.”

“We don’t have to do a lot,” said Brad, referring to the renovations.

And compared to the hoops the couple has already jumped through, a little sawdust won’t be a big concern.

“You have to go through zoning,” said Pat, to get the appropriate variance. Then there’s an inspection by Jay/Portland Building and Planning, and then there’s another inspection by Portland Fire Department. “Then you go to the health department,” she said. That involves more paperwork and the requirement that she pass the Serv-Safe manager’s course.

“It’s not an easy thing,” she said.

Ferris House has three available rooms:

•The Whitcomb Riley Room, named for Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, who was a family friend of the Ferris family and stayed with them during visits to Portland.

•The Bimel Room, named after the second owners of the house, George and Margaret Bimel. Coincidentally, the Bimels owned the Bimel Spoke and Wheel Co., which occupied the same space that is currently the Daniels’ Jay County Antique Mall.

•The Newsom Room, named after the original architects.

The Newsom Room and the Whitcomb Riley Room share a bath, while the Bimel Room has a private bath.

Once the renovations are complete, all will have private bathrooms.

The third floor of Ferris House is essentially a recreation room, with a pool table and a ping-pong table.

Because all of the guest rooms are on the second floor and there’s a series of steps to get to the first floor, historic Ferris House will not be handicapped accessible.

Pat’s dream goes back years.

“I’ve stayed in bed and breakfasts for years,” she said. “I love to meet the owners and the other visitors.”

“It’s always been a dream of hers,” said Brad. “I go all over the world with (Judan) Judo and she supports me with that. So how could I not support her?”
PORTLAND WEATHER

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