Olde Buffalo Inn Bed & Breakfast
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In the heart of Amish country, this charming, tranquil inn offers respite from the hurried and hectic lives many of us live. The Olde Buffalo Inn, located in Nappanee, IN, is a converted 1840s Amish farmhouse that has been renovated and transformed into an expansive B&B that offers the comforts of home, modern amenities, and a peaceful atmosphere that is set apart from the norm.
Eclectically decorated, the Inn offers a taste of the antiques and bric-a-brac one might find at one of the many antique shops, auctions, and craft flea markets Nappanee, Indiana has to offer.
We pride ourselves in serving scratch-made “breakfast that’s worth getting up for” each morning. We grow the fruit for all of our jams and jellies and serve only local maple syrup. From spring to fall we make good use of our own herbs and produce when preparing breakfast and the table always has fresh flowers from the garden.
Large groups and families in particular enjoy the sprawling 7000 square feet of space, which has been used for scrap booking and quilting retreats, church functions, weddings and holiday festivities. With equally spacious yards and an acre of perennial gardens, there is plenty to see and do; or you can just sit with a cup of coffee and drowse away the afternoon on the Inn’s covered back porch.
Travelers are always looking for memorable and relaxing experiences. Let’s discover more through the words of our innkeepers. Many thanks to Steve and Lucy Kesler for sharing their own secrets with BBOnline.com! Why do most travelers stay at your inn?
Many of our guests are return visitors, which means that they enjoyed themselves so much the last time that they want to come back and visit again. I think that most of our first time guests stay with us because we are different and because we are not on a main street. We are also family friendly and willing to work with special requests regarding food.
Many guests choose the Olde Buffalo Inn because we have rooms on the main floor, including a suite with a king size bed, which means easier access for those who aren’t able to do stairs.
What are you best known for?
The central part of our home was built about 1840 and was an Amish farmhouse. This original house sits intact in the middle of a new home that was built to surround it. We have decorated the original house with that era and culture in mind, with many quilts, antiques and primitives. Some of the things you will notice are the original stone foundation, the original windows and the original wide plank oak floors.
What makes your inn unique?
We both love antiques and primitives, especially those from the late 1800’s to about 1940 and the original part of the house is the perfect place to showcase our treasures. Vintage linens are another love, along with painted granite, old kitchen utensils and old toys.
What do you love most about your inn?
We love that our Inn is so spacious. We host many family reunions, scrap booking getaways, quilting guilds, church groups and class parties. All of the space means that you don’t feel cramped, and if great uncle Roger’s jokes are getting to you, there is a place to escape!
If someone has never been to your city, what is the #1 reason to come visit?
Visitors come for many reasons, but the reason we hear most often is that they are curious about the Amish community. They come for the peace and the tranquility found in our part of the country. The City of Nappanee has the motto “Embrace the Pace” and that is exactly what you will find here. Quietness; simplicity; and a different view of the world.
What’s the best compliment you have ever received about the inn?
I think our favorite compliment is that “this feels like Grandma’s house.” And what they mean is that there is sense of security here, peace and love. That we decorate with 1930-1940 era antiques also helps set the stage. We also cook everything from scratch, which contributes to the sense of being at Grandma’s house. The smells from the kitchen in the morning and in the afternoon will take you back to your childhood.
What’s the best kept secret about the area?
Steve always says that the Olde Buffalo Inn is the best kept secret in Nappanee, as we are not on any of the main streets. We have about 3 acres of what was the original farmstead in Nappanee, tucked back in the Northwood subdivision. We are away from the noise of Main Street and both highways.
If a traveler is staying at your inn for 4 nights, what should he/she do in the area?
The Heritage Trail is a great place to start when coming to Nappanee and Northern Indiana. It lists many places to stop and explore. Another great day trip in the area is the Country Side Shops Tour. These are small mostly Amish home businesses that sell everything from rugs to wood crafts to quilts. There’s even a buggy making factory! We also have auctions available, plays at Amish Acres and a golf course nearby.
You might even want to just spend a day at the Inn. We have many games, puzzles and cozy places to read a book or do a cross word puzzle. During the summer months, the covered patio is an exceptionally good place to sit and just enjoy the quiet.
Is there anything within walking distance of your inn?
The downtown Nappanee shops are less than a mile away, as is the Coppes Commons building with it’s collection of stores.
There is a wonderful children’s park about 2 blocks from the Inn with a huge climbing castle, swings and places for a picnic. This is part of the Nappanee parks area which also includes basketball courts, tennis courts and a swimming pool.
What is your favorite restaurant/food in the area?
The favorite place to eat in Nappanee for us is Rocket Science Ice Cream. And not just in the summer! Imagine the richest, creamiest, smoothest ice cream with the addition of your choice of ingredients that is quick frozen in front of your eyes using liquid nitrogen. This is truly the best ice cream ever.
The other favorite in the area is to have dinner in an Amish home. We have several Amish families that invite people into their homes for a traditional dinner. Wonderful homemade (and often homegrown) food, but even better is the conversation as the families sit with you and talk and answer questions.
Any good area guides/websites that travelers could reference?
www.amishcountry.org/ is a great place to start. It has a lot of information, things to do and see and other important things to know and see in the area.
How many rooms does your inn have?
We have 7 quest rooms, all uniquely decorated and all with a private bath. We can accommodate up to 23 people. The Inn itself has 7,000 square feet of space that includes a formal living room and library, a huge family room, a basement game room and a patio that overlooks my perennial gardens.
Do you accept pets?
We do not accept pets.
The Olde Buffalo Inn Bed and Breakfast has three-quarters of an acre of perennial gardens, thanks to Lucy's green thumb. Enjoy strolling through the gardens or yard, or sitting on the back patio. You'll see hummingbirds flitting about their feeders, butterflies, and lazy bumblebees floating above greens, yellows, oranges, reds, pinks and purples.
Lucy's gardening style is unpretentious and casual. Rustic barn timbers, antique shovels, birdhouses, and iron sculptures are tucked among riotous color. It is breathtaking beauty in any season. When visiting the Olde Buffalo Inn, be sure to check out the Quilt Garden Tour (seasonal).
Old Buffalo Inn is the perfect place for large groups! Because we have 7000 square feet of space, with room for up to 23 overnight guests, our home has been used for scrapbooking retreats, quilting guilds, church groups, and family reunions. We have 3 large common rooms, patio space,a basement game room, and large lawn space for games and a fire pit.
We offer a plentiful hot breakfast for guests and with advance notice we can accommodate additional daytime guests for a fee. We also can offer use of our large kitchen for other food preparation, and a full size refrigerator for guest use.
All of our group rates are based on a minimum of 12 people and at least double occupancy in each room. If your group meets the 12-person minimum, we will close the inn to other guests. For our quilting and scrapbooking groups, our rates cover all tables, chairs, and lamps set up and ready for your use. Finally, early check-in and late checkout is available.
We can accommodate special requests, so give us a call if you have questions, need information about pricing, and for reservations.
The Olde Buffalo Inn Bed and Breakfast is a former Amish farm house, circa 1840, renovated and converted into a 7000 square foot B & B. This 2 and ½ acre property also has a 10,000 square foot banked barn, built in 1860, an acre of perennial flowers, and expansive lawns. The entire property is surrounded by classic white picket fencing and has a terrific view of the neighboring McCormick Creek Golf Course.
The Inn’s history began over 150 years ago. Originally built in 1840 by a pioneer farmer, the house precedes the establishment of Nappanee, Indiana in 1874. By the turn of the century it had acquired the name "buffalo farm" during a time when bison were raised by the farm owners. According to family stories and heritage, one of our own ancestors helped to build the original structure. In 1866 the red bank-barn was constructed. Along with more conventional uses, Amish families from the surrounding area held church services within it. The barn is 10,000 square feet of history, and you can still see ax marks on the beams and rafters. Other outbuildings followed the construction of the barn, including a windmill and a carriage house.
Today, the original farmhouse still exists, after having endured restorations three decades ago to preserve its historical character. At that time additional rooms were constructed to surround the original part of the house, together creating the 7000 square foot structure guests enjoy today. The property was made into a bed in breakfast in the mid-1990s. The home has been decorated in an eclectic, rustic style reminiscent of our heritage. Heirloom quilts hang on walls, while granite dishes, antique lace hankies, and odd bits of history are placed around, just because. It is a cozy, inviting atmosphere that practically begs a body to sit and read or put a puzzle together.