By Beverly Clinkingbeard

If you’ve passed through Burlington Junction, Missouri, and noticed on the north side of the street a big brick house that is gradually being transformed, well, that’s The Carter House.

Meet Collette Parry and Dean Kelly, proprietors and renovators of Dr. Carter’s house that he built and moved his family to in 1902. The Carter daughters lived in the house until mid-1970s and afterwards the home had itinerate owners and/or caretakers. The house was in need of major TLC when Dean and Collette first knew of its availability, and it then took another two years to become owners.

The odyssey of settling in Burlington Junction began in London, England, when a baby girl was born and named Collette, while in Seattle, Washington, a baby boy was born and named Dean. Fast forward many years and Dean and Collette both liked to travel. They met and married in Panama. They returned to Dean’s home in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, sold business and possessions, bought a big recreational vehicle and decided to see what was to be seen.

Dean relates they eventually became bored with browsing and fishing and wondered what could they do that would make use of their combined talents, be interesting, different, and …? Maybe a bed and breakfast would be the deal, but first they needed the right house. So with Collette surfing possibilities on a laptop, they hit the road with the purpose of finding the right situation. Eventually The Carter House entered the picture, but it was really too far east and the weather too humid for Dean. Nevertheless, two years later the time was right for possession – meanwhile, there had been further deterioration of the home.

In June, 2016, the new residents of Burlington Junction lived in their travel mobile and began replacing essentials of the home: new roof, plumbing, electrical, etc. Dean is, as Collette puts it, “a proper contractor,” and has refurbished or replaced the grandeur of the old house with the touch of a craftsman. Collette is a decorator and has experience in hospitality. She has cleaned, scraped, painted, sewed, and together they are turning an old house into what it once was. Dean said the target goal is to be finished in 2020, and he thinks they’ll make it. Dean also has a hobby of making rocking horses that are unique and beautiful. Check them out at www.rocking Gponies.com.

The Carter House began receiving guests in April, 2018, while yet a work-in-progress. Their first guests were from Alaska and ironically, during their stay, it was warmer in Alaska than northwest Missouri. The dining room is almost completed. Collette is serving breakfast in what is to become a sitting room (though it would make a wonderful library, too), but first she needs to sew draperies for the dining room to cover the new windows Dean recently rebuilt, as well as add her unique decorator’s touch.

Collette prepares breakfast with fresh produce as available and it may include pancakes, omelets, bacon, sausage, scones, cinnamon rolls, and a favorite among guests, Eggs Benedict.

When first visiting with Dean he mentioned they had arrived at the bed and breakfast idea as a result of boredom. I neglected to ask if renovating The Carter House had solved that element, but somehow, one can suppose there hasn’t been much time for being bored.

If you want a nice place to stay or for guest overload at your house, try The Carter House Bed & Breakfast, 205 East Main St., Burlington Junction, MO 64428. Phone numbers are 208-699-8612 or 208-771-6322 or  email at carterhousebb@gmail.com. It is also registered with www.airbnb.com. The coffee is on and breakfast is about ready.

’Til next time.