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Just outside of historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania stands the charming Mary-Penn Bed & Breakfast. Situated one mile down a dirt path on an expansive stretch of farmland, the bed and breakfast is the perfect place to unwind because of its seclusion from major tourist attractions in the center of town.
The country-style house sits on a portion of over 200 acres of land where not much more than the tranquil sounds of neighboring Marsh creek can be heard. But what sets this bed and breakfast apart from others in Gettysburg are its historical features and its owner, Bea Waybright.
“I want you to make yourself at home,” Bea said as she welcomed guests into the house. It doesn’t take long for Bea to give guests a tour of the bed and breakfast, her excitement bounced off the walls of the antiquated house. Originally created as a one story house with a thatched roof in 1743, the Mary-Penn Bed & Breakfast is Bea’s pride and joy.
The unique location has the Mason Dixon line running straight through the middle of the house, leaving one half of the bed and breakfast in Pennsylvania, while the other half stands in Maryland. Rock markers of the Mason Dixon line were placed one mile apart and is a captivating feature on the Waybright’s land.
The bed and breakfast took years of restoration on the part of Bea and her husband, David, but all the hard work paid off in the form of a wonderful house. With antique and country style furnishings in each room, the bed and breakfast emanates perfectly balanced historical decor with modern touches.
A front sitting room showcases original documents of the house dating back centuries while a large table in the dining room stands as a central gathering place for the owners and visitors to share stories. On the lower level is a modern kitchen, full bathroom, and spacious family room perfect for watching a movie or curling up with your favorite book.
Personal touches in the family room, such as photo albums of weddings held at the bed and breakfast, make visitors feel like they have truly been welcomed into someone’s home.
Each of the four bedrooms at the Mary-Penn Bed & Breakfast contain their own unique charm and, as Bea explained, are named for someone who had a significant contribution to the house over time. The John McKinley bedroom is named for the man who built the original one-story house in 1743 is the only room on the lower level.
The second floor of the house was created in 1793. Three bedrooms are located upstairs, including the Wm. J. Stewart room, named for the man who extended the house upwards. The Mary B. Waybright room, dedicated to Bea’s mother-in-law, is larger and has a queen sized bed with a fireplace.
Finally, the William Penn room is the largest of all the suites with a queen sized bed, adjoining another smaller room with a double bed. Bea transformed the basement into another social gathering area, but did not overlook the deep history of the space. The Mary-Penn Bed & Breakfast was once a house that had slaves.
Marks from the chains that kept them in the basement at night can still be seen in the original wooden beams that run across the ceiling. Bea created a memorial to the slaves of the past that once lived in the house, feeling that it was the right thing to do.
While staying at the Mary-Penn Bed & Breakfast is a complete luxury with all necessary amenities available, the true reward of staying the night at this accommodation is getting to know its owners. Over a deliciously home cooked breakfast, guests surrounded the dining room table and joined in jubilant conversations with Bea and her husband, David.
Plates of Belgian waffles and sausages circled the table, along with freshly sliced pineapples, kiwis and bunches of grapes. A homemade farm casserole was a favorite among the guests, along with cinnamon buns and cups of coffee. It’s easy to spend hours talking with Bea about her grandchildren and how the uncontrollable weather often has an impact on the house and farm.
It’s effortless to find yourself swapping recipes with her or talking about her upcoming plans to create sleigh rides in the winter, in which David jokingly stated, “Her dreams are my nightmares.” Staying at the Mary-Penn Bed & Breakfast is much more than spending the night in a fascinating historical house.
Stepping into the centuries’ old house is more about being welcomed into a family that seemed to always have a place in their heart reserved for you. Bea encouraged her guests to sign the guestbook, keep in touch, and receive Christmas greetings for the upcoming holiday season.
“You are now part of the family,” Bea said as guests checked out and turned in their keys. The kind of honest relationships created at the Mary-Penn Bed & Breakfast makes it that much harder to leave. The Mary-Penn Bed & Breakfast is located at 716 Mason-Dixon Road, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325.
For more information on making a reservation call 717-334-5055 or visit the website at http://mary-pennbb.com/index.html.