They didn’t just create a lovely bed-and-breakfast. They turned the surrounding acres into a fully functional working farm…
After spending 30 years in Las Vegas as insurance brokers, John and Judi Stuart decided to change careers to something more relaxing. They purchased 82 acres of farmland in Yamhill County, Willamette Valley, Oregon. The charming farmland had already had a ranch house and three storage silos on it. They had various ideas on what to to do with the property, but in the end, they settled on one idea – now the Abbey Road Farm is one of the most beautiful bed-and-breakfast places in Oregon.
They didn’t start from scratch to expend resources, funds, and energy in building a Victorian-Style bed-and-breakfast. They just used what they already had to get exactly what they wanted, and the result is astonishing. They created several guest bedrooms and an event center, giving a stunning beauty to the old, abandoned farm storage complex.
Abbey Road Farm
John had spent his childhood days in England and other parts of Europe. Life had been simple and refreshing in the countryside where he grew up. When he and Judi visited Oregon after so many years in the ever-bustling, and loud city of Las Vegas, he knew this was where he needed to live out his golden years.
To the Stuarts, it felt as though the Abbey Road Farm had been reserved just for them. Purchasing the property in March 2003 was the easy part, but before long, they had all the necessary permits and business licenses in place.
Since a thriving Queen-Ann cherry farm was already taking up two acres of the land, they didn’t have to spend so much time brainstorming about what they’d grow. It had already been decided for them, and who doesn’t love a good ole cherry farm? The next thing was to build a house on the farm, and that too had already been half-solved.
Against all odds
The farmland came with a charming ranch house and three big, round grain-storage silos standing sturdy and tall on the property. The silos are situated just behind the ranch house in the center of this farmland. They started by renovating and refurbishing the ranch house, which now doubles as an events center and part of the B&B.
When they wanted to move in on the silos and implement their idea, the County planning committee frowned upon it. The conversion of the silos into living spaces wasn’t allowed in the county, but John persisted. He worked with the planning committee for a long time, seeking their input on what could be done and what was strictly prohibited, and finally, the B&B came into being.
Here’s a sum-up of all the renovations they made:
The central silo was converted into a living room downstairs and a guest bedroom upstairs.
The two outer silos were converted into guest bedrooms on both floors each.
They converted the lower floor and outer space of the ranch house into a luxurious events center, while the upstairs was renovated into more guest rooms.
The water treatment building was converted to a shed for their farmyard materials and equipment.
The lovely bed-and-breakfast on Abbey Road Farm immediately became a landmark in Yamhill County. It also opened more windows for tourism in the community. Guests come in and spend a week or more, enjoying the greenery and incredible fresh air, taking walks on the vast and expansive farm grounds, and enjoying the scenic view of Oregon wine country.
The silos have maintained their outer metallic look, but on the inside, they are furnished nicely with all the items of modern convenience. The rooms were redone with modern Victorian-Style furnishing to give the guests as much comfort as they could ever need, while still giving homage to traditional B&Bs.
On the outside, the B&B looks like a bunch of regular ol’ farm structures for anyone seeking a simple life. On the inside, however, the story takes a u-turn. The walls were completely re-paneled, the floors were redone with sparkly marble, and all the rooms were revamped with state-of-the-art furniture. The upstairs of the old farmhouse can house at least six guests at a time.
Organizers who rent out the events center don’t have to worry about setting up cooking tents on the property. A fully equipped commercial kitchen is available for their chefs and servers to work in. Up to 200 guests can be accommodated for celebrations or events.
Alongside the cherry farm, the couple also cultivated fescue grass seed on 60 acres of the farmland. Willamette Valley is globally popular for the production of grass seed, so the couple went all out to join the race.
They even produce their own goat milk, cheese, meat, and other products, as the couple owns a pen with a small herd of goats on the premises.
Needless to say, it may be time to take a trip to Yamhill County.