Welcome to Maple Harris Guest House
Welcome to my home, Maple Harris Guest House. As you have discovered in life, a house has many stories to tell. Below, you will find an accurate but the more ‘official’ description of my home . . .
The Maple Harris Guest House in Lancaster, Wisconsin, welcomes you through the huge front door into our version of hospitality. Maple Harris is of the Queen Anne style, built in 1890’s by a well known area family. Each room is uniquely different for a pleasing comfortable blend of old and new. We are located in Lancaster, Wisconsin – “City of the Dome”. The unique octagonal, glass and copper dome of the Grant County Courthouse is the dominating feature in the city. Lancaster has several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places and a museum devoted to the regions of rich history. Our small city is surrounded by beautiful wooded hills, fertile agricultural valleys, and meandering creeks and rivers. We are in close proximity to a number of visitor attractions in Southwest Wisconsin.
While it is in fact a true description of my house, and this beautiful driftless region, it is not the whole of my home, nor of the area. A house is made by the people in it, and the desire to learn about the area, is but footsteps away. I have enjoyed learning of the long standing history of my home. It has been inhabited and loved by four other families before me. I am the outsider. The previous owners were all from Wisconsin or the Midwest area. The builder and first owners were Mayor Frank and Irene Schreiner 1893-1935, then the longest owners of this grand home were Aurthur and Laura Tebo 1935-the 70’s, followed by Ronald and Jane Coppernoll – I believe until the mid 90’s, when it was purchased by Leo and Bernadette Abing. I then purchased this grand old home and the carriage house in October of 2012. I am happy to have reopened it as a bed & breakfast, following the footsteps started by the Abings.
This stately home has stood witness to many a marriage, births, and deaths. As they say, ‘If these walls could talk’ . . .
When you walk in, you can’t help but take notice of the massive front doors. As you explore, you will come to appreciate the old fashioned turn key doorbells, glass door knobs, the old radiator heaters, the push button light switches, the ornate and careful carvings of the wood work, the stained glassed windows, the original light fixtures, the original fireplace, the original pedestal sink in the larger upstairs bathroom, and of course the hand pulled elevator on the main floor. Then on you go to your comfortably furnished rooms that I strive to make warm and inviting. There are many beautiful outside gardens to enjoy, and those gardens that are yet to be developed, always lingering on the drawing board plans. The carriage house next door, has two separate efficiency apartments. They are perfect for longer short term stays and for families. Or, for those who find they would just like a bit more privacy. I love owning a bed & breakfast. There are people coming and going. The visits may be for your vacation, or a wedding, funeral, school reunion. Whether you may be coming home, or it is your first time to visit our area, my beautiful old home gets to hold you on your journey.
Over the 120 years, this house has known many people.
We don’t meet people by accident . . . they are meant to cross our path for a reason.
While awaiting the ending of a seemingly never ending Midwestern winter, I adopted a small older, we believe a 7-8 year old rescue beagle. Happily enlisting his help in the running of this enormous mansion.
His name of course is Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy. Darcy for short. While Maple Harris Guest House cannot be compared to Pemberley, in London, he has in fact inserted himself quite nicely as official custodian of our own Queen Ann Victorian mansion in Lancaster.
Oh yes, even though Mr Darcy believes he is Lord and Master of his spacious domain we do have a running list of rules we are learning to adhere to. We are not allowed on the furniture-ok, perhaps just the burgundy sofa when we sit and snuggle together and there is the look out chair on the turret landing by the big windows to keep a close eye on the neighborhood. We are not allowed in the guests rooms, and we are not allowed in the dining room while guests are eating. We try very hard not to jump up on people-a work in progress because we love people. We are kenneled when guests are checking in or when guests are leaving, and we are very quiet all night sleeping well, with no barking allowed. I am sure at times it must feel like the list of no’s will never end.
Mr Darcy has added a warmth and life to this home that cannot be duplicated by the presence of mere humans.
A warning to all who stay here. He will attack, but with kisses and love.