Tucked away on a residential street in the small town of Bellevue (Northern Ohio), is the picturesque Victorian Tudor Inn Bed & Breakfast. We were greeted at the door by Innkeeper Richard Stegman and his warm welcoming smile, then taken on a grand tour of this more than 7,500 square foot historic English tudor, built in 1906. Each of the delicately designed guest rooms are filled with antiques and collectibles, gathered and purchased by Richard over the years. Richard mentions that there were so many antique pieces he found that spoke to his heart, he knew he could not re-sell them… they would eventually have a resting place.
Relaxing in the living room after a long drive, with a glass of wine in hand, we had tantalizing conversations with Richard and some of his other guests. Mary and Jane, out-of-towners who frequent the B&B often, tell us: “The Victorian Tudor Inn is like a journey back in time. A perfect anecdote to the fast paced world…a step away from the rat race.” “We feel welcome and at home in a way that we don’t feel at other accommodations.”
Richard is what some would call, a ‘fascinating miracle.’ One month after purchase of the Victorian Tudor in 2007, a literal run-in with a train put him in the hospital for six weeks. Lucky and grateful to be alive, physical therapy came easy since Richard had several thousand square feet of house to renovate and decorate. With so many tokens of history placed so neatly throughout the 2 living rooms, dining room, exercise room, treat room, hot tub room, 5 bedrooms (each with their own private bath), grounds and even the hidden garden, it’s difficult to keep the eyes from wandering, no matter the conversation.
The morning after our arrival, the aroma of fresh, local bacon frying danced in the air enticing us to seek out the kitchen. The fresh fruit, cinnamon French toast and juices welcomed us to the table. Cooked to order hot Belgian waffles, extra large country eggs or omelets, served with vegetables and cheeses of choice were just minutes away. This delectable breakfast made for a king, or queen, is the perfect start to anyone’s day!
Richard’s warm personality and optimistic charm made us feel as if we had been on an overnight visit with our own family. Our only regret was not having had the opportunity to meet Richard’s husband who was out of the country …we wish him a quick return back to the states. From newspaper boy in Bellevue to Dean of Students, then back to Bellevue 32 years later, welcoming friends new and old, Richard has come full circle.
As featured in Connextions Magazine, Issue 5.
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