Monday, September 2, 2013

Hometown Monday - Homeplace Country Inn and Karen

Hometown Monday
Homeplace Country Inn and Karen

This is the sixth of an expected irregular series of posts of excerpts from the novels, novellas, and short stories of "The Homeplace Series" Family Saga story-telling, to provide an insight into the story lines that may not be clear from other promotional pieces about "The Homeplace Series." These will also be coordinated with the content of the developmental Wiki, "Beyond the Books" - to expand the information available there, as well.

Karen was the oldest of the 4 Bevins siblings who came "Back to the Homeplace" in 1987 to kickoff The Homeplace Series. She and her husband, Jason, provided stable and reliable support for the other family members.  Shortly after completing the remodeling of the Bevins farmhouse to become the Homeplace Country Inn, Jason died in an auto accident. Karen carried on as manager of Inn and as the rock the family continued to depend on in many ways.

Karen (Bevins) Winslow is a central figure in the forthcoming (available in October) novel, "Christmas at the Homeplace," as well.

Today, our excerpt is from 1996 when young lawyer, Christopher Ogden, to gather information for a Ten-Year Report for the Bevins Trust, visits Karen (Bevins) Winslow at the Homeplace Country Inn (learn more on Wiki Wednesday, as well): 

An excerpt from "The Homeplace Revisited" from Friday, August 16, 1996:

“They walked into the Homeplace Heritage Room that was part of the addition added when the Country Inn had been created from the former farmhouse. Karen pointed out how the room was decorated with artifacts, photos and story items celebrating the first fifty years of The Homeplace from 1833 to 1883, featuring the founding and the Civil War years. In 1983 the family had celebrated the 150-year family ownership status of the farm they knew as the Homeplace. The Homeplace name had been preserved in the name chosen for the inn, The Homeplace Country Inn.

A large stone fireplace dominated the far wall, with three leather couches arranged in front as a conversational area. Each of the other three walls was decorated with pictures, posters, memorabilia and artifacts of the early days of the farmstead. The center of the room was currently open space, but could be filled with chairs, or arrangements of tables and chairs for various functions.

Karen shared with Christopher the story of finding a great deal of family history information that her mother, Mildred, had accumulated and saved over the years that the family did not even know she had. From that information, Karen had picked up on the research and felt it was very important that this family history be built into and become an integral part of the Homeplace County Inn.

Christopher had heard bits and pieces of the story before, but was anxious to get the whole story in his notes to include in the Ten Year Report. Karen agreed to provide all the information he needed, and to review the report for accuracy and completeness as he was drafting it.

Karen added, “Has Jennifer mentioned that she has also, apparently, caught the ‘genealogy bug’?”
“No, it hasn’t come up. What do you mean, exactly, the ‘genealogy bug’?”

“For some of us, many of us, actually, when we start looking into our family history, or genealogy, we just can’t stop. We love the search, to find clues, to uncover new information, and the bonus is, it’s about your family… who we are, where we came from. Finding that an ancestor had similar interests that you do, or another family member has – it is just fascinating. Of course, if you don’t also have the ‘bug’ you may just think we are crazy, or eccentric, or something.”

“Wow,” Christopher exclaimed, “you really are excited about this stuff. And you say Jennifer is too?”

“She just started getting involved a few months ago, but it appears she is hooked. She has already driven up to the Mid-Continent library in Independence three separate times, looking for more answers, more details, more family history. It has been great.” Karen said, “She has found answers to some of my questions, as well, and raised new ones. You should ask her about it.”

“I certainly will do that.”

Karen went on to remind Christopher that the four original bedrooms in the old Homeplace farmhouse were now guest rooms, each dedicated to a generation over the last 100 years. Frank and Mildred’s room celebrated their life together. Her parents, Joe and Beth (Young) McDonald were celebrated in a second room, as were her grandparents, William and Charlotte (Crane) McDonald, in the third room. The fourth bedroom recognized the four children of Frank and Mildred (McDonald) Bevins: Karen, Beverly, Bart and Peter. The six rooms added, above the Heritage Room, in the new addition, were given country/nature names related to the southern Missouri Ozarks location: Armadillo, Bluebird, Cardinal, Lady’s Slipper, Red Fox, Softleaf Pine. A new commercial quality kitchen had been added behind the Heritage Room on the first floor, as well as an apartment, each with outside entrances.” 

"May each of us have a Homeplace to hold onto, if only in our minds."

Bill  ;-)

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