By DAVID GREEN
Jack and Choyce Quigley have had their share of frustrations on the road to becoming proprietors of a bed and breakfast.
Standing in their living room below the high cathedral ceiling, Jack recalls the days when the wind was too strong to climb scaffolding for roof work. They never brought in a crane to assemble the high timbers. It was all done by hand.
He remembers when the three-story “cultured stone” fireplace was about two-thirds built and the mason had to stop for shoulder surgery. For seven weeks, the Quigleys stared at an empty set of scaffolding in their living room.
A mistake in the blueprints resulted in the dismantling of a garage wall. It took a day to put it up, Jack said. It took three days to take apart. With interlocking logs, it wasn’t just a simple matter of taking down a single wall.
And right from the start, the delivery of the logs…now that was one of the biggest challenges of all. The yellow pine logs headed north out of Tennessee in four semi-trailers. The trucks made it to the intersection of US-127 and Packard Road one day after the frost law signs were posted, forbidding heavy truck travel on the dirt road.
“The drivers saw that sign at Packard and they froze right there,” Jack said. “I called the weigh master and he said to go ahead and do it.”
They still wouldn’t budge.
“The weigh master told the drivers personally.”
Still no go.
The logs were finally dumped at the Hudson Brick Yard. With a forklift there and another at the building site, the logs were slowly transported on a low boy, one small load at a time.
“And it was raining,” says Choyce. A cold, rainy day in March.
That’s all behind them now. They love their home and they love their guests. It’s been an excellent adventure.
Just a Suggestion
The Quigleys lived in Adrian for more than a quarter century. Jack was with the police department there and Choyce still works with the Hickman Cancer Center in Adrian.
Long before they made the move to Acker Highway, Jack knew that was the home site he wanted to develop. It was the 90 acre Strayer farm that Choyce’s grandparents established in 1872, but she was hesitant to move for several years.
Choyce was finally persuaded to leave the city and the couple decided on a log home. A friend at church asked if they had ever considered opening a bed and breakfast.
“It started out as a two-bedroom, two-bath retirement home,” says Jack. “It ended up as a six-bedroom, five-bath bed and breakfast.”
They drew up the plans themselves before Jack headed to a log-building class in Tennessee. He soon realized he couldn’t erect the shell by himself, so he became a member of a construction company work crew to get the job done. After that, the Quigleys managed to handle the bulk of the interior work on their own.
The project started in March 1997 and the Quigleys moved inside in July. The bed and breakfast opened the next year.
Two guest rooms are located upstairs, each with its own bath. The rooms appear simple but amply decorated, and very inviting. Late-risers might choose the room with the window facing south. Choyce insisted the home be built up close to a mature tree that blocks sunlight.
The room facing north is flooded with light, offering a view of farmland and distant woodlots.
The lower level includes a family room with toys, a television and tables. That area also functions as a meeting room for school districts, businesses and others seeking an off-site discussion space for groups as large as 16. An area group of scrapbook consultants occasionally buys an overnight package and the evening turns into an adult slumber party.
“Aren’t you afraid of strangers coming into your home?”
Choyce has heard that question before, but she dismisses it. She loves people coming into her home.
“Bed and breakfast guests are like family,” she says. “They’re looking for a place that’s like coming home.”
B and B customers are an entirely different clientele, says Jack. They generally aren’t the same people who are just looking for a nice hotel.
For many people, a stay at the Quigleys is their first exposure to rural life.
“It’s fun to introduce people to the country,” Choyce says, and it’s equally gratifying to be part of the family reunions, anniversaries, honeymoons, birthdays, etc. “It’s just so much fun to be part of it.”
With each new guest, the Quigley “family” grows.
“They come as guests and they leave as our friends,” Choyce said.
“That’s our motto,” adds Jack. “About 99 percent of the time that’s what happens.”- July 18, 2001