Blue Belle Inn

Sarah on porch of Blue Belle Inn

There are several bed and breakfasts with rooms named for members of the Ingalls and Wilder families across the country. This is the second one I’ve stayed in and unlike most of the others I’ve discovered this one is no where near a Laura homesite town. Instead it’s tucked into the northern Iowan community of St. Ansgar. It’s an hour away from the nearest Laura homesite, Spring Valley, Minnesota. Probably it’s closest connection is Bernice J. Risse, once a teacher at nearby Osage, Iowa, who after her husband died spent summers down at Rocky Ridge helping give tours and with various projects. (Bernice took at least some of the photos sold by Mansfield up to the 1980s showing various things and places connected to Laura in black and white photos. )

Actually the room is specifically named Plum Creek and other rooms are named after other children’s books including Heaven to Betsy and Never, Never Land. I got to stay there during a speaking engagement a couple of years ago, although I didn’t get to stay in the Plum Creek room. It turns out that Anne’s House of Dreams is the only one with independent control of heat, so that’s where they put me during the spring event. It’s actually located in second smaller, handicap accessible house behind the primary building. I was glad of the heat. I did get to tour the rest of the rooms though and they are very nicely done featuring both mementos and images from the books they are named for. Find images and descriptions of all the rooms on their website
http://www.bluebelleinn.com

There is also a restaurant in the main building on the ground floor and if the food is as lovely as the decor it must be very good indeed.  Inn Keeper Sherrie Hansen is also a published author and often features writer/reader friendly events. You can find her on Twitter if you can’t go in person. SherrieHansen

I’d like to put together a directory of places with Laura themed rooms, if you know of another please let me know.

Published by

Sarah Uthoff - Trundlebed Tales

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic, and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+, LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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