Couple turns Victorian-era home into B&B in Zeeland - June 17, 2009

By Karen Waite


Anna VanDeventer and her husband, Vic, will open a bed-and-breakfast in mid-July at their home, the Victorian-era Baert-Baron Mansion at 120 S. Church St. in Zeeland.


Vic and Anna VanDeventer bought the Baert-Baron Mansion in Zeeland with the dream of turning into a bed-and-breakfast.


The couple went from room to room restoring the home, built in 1872, to its Victorian-era grandeur. It took the couple almost four years of hard work, with Vic doing most of the labor, to renovate the home at 120 S. Church St. 


Then Anna fell ill and the couple put their plans on hold for about two years. But now the couple is moving forward with their dream. They recently received approval from the Zeeland Board of Zoning Appeals to open a bed-and-breakfast in their home.


For Anna, the bed-and-breakfast is a natural fit. 


"As a Southern lady, I love to entertain, always have," she said. "People love to come to our home and stay, pick up a good read, and rest from their everyday world."


The VanDeventers will have three bedrooms for guests, complete with high antique beds, 100-year-old rockers, stenciled ceilings, and art. The home also has a formal dining room, parlor, and commercial kitchen.

Anna said entering her home is "like stepping back in time." 


The VanDeventers plan to open the bed-and-breakfast in mid-July. At that time, they will start working on a fine dining restaurant and small cafe they plan to operate in their home.


The VanDeventers' bed-and-breakfast is exactly what the city needs, city marketing director Abby deRoo said. "Currently there are no lodging accommodations in the immediate Zeeland area so the addition of this B&B will offer a resource to visitors that hasn't been available in the past," she said.


DeRoo said that need was highlighted in the recent "vision" created for the downtown area. "The proximity of the VanDeventers' home to downtown fits directly in with this suggestion and will be quite convenient for visitors," she said. "And I expect that these visitors will experience hospitality like they have never seen before!"