They had no intention of finding a house that would be suitable for a bed and breakfast, but after looking at the historic house in Slater, they knew what the three extra bedrooms in the home would be good for.
Brent and Marcia Selix of Slater are the proud owners of The Hammond House Bed and Breakfast in Slater. Located at 101 Main St., the four bedroom, two and 1/2 bathroom Victorian home is now open to guests. The name of the establishment comes from the home’s previous owner, Howard Hammond of Slater, who grew up in the home with his family. Brent and Marcia are the third owners of the home, which was built in 1914 and owned by the Houge family.
The couple began the process of searching for a home after deciding their apartment in Slater was too small. Brent said they would drive around town looking for houses that were for sale and decide if they wanted to check it out. Little did they know the large house sitting at the intersection of Main Street and Linn Street would be their future home.
"We’d driven by the house thousands of times, and one day I said, ‘Let’s go and look at the place,’" Brent said. Within 10 minutes of walking through the home last January, the couple had fallen in love and were ready to make an offer on it.
Their next thought was to open up their home to guests who would be able to stay in three of the home’s four bedrooms. Some of the couple’s friends have questioned whether or not opening their home to strangers is a good idea, but Brent said they have no problem with it.
"We love talking to people and meeting people," Brent said.
Complete with pine floors and lighting fixtures from decades ago, the couple has kept the home looking much like it was when it was first built. A majority of the renovations done have involved updating the home’s electrical system and bathrooms, with a second full bathroom added in the basement for guests to use, as well as a shower in the second-floor bathroom. A central air conditioning system was also added for comfort during hot summers.
"We haven’t changed a lot because we wanted to keep it the same as what it was," Marcia said.
More changes are yet to come to the home, with the addition of a fire pit outside for guests to enjoy in the evening, and furniture for the front porch and second-floor balcony. Marcia also wants to have a shelf filled with board games for guests to play on the front porch.
While they were not officially open for business at the time, the bed and breakfast’s first guests were two women who were in town for a funeral on Valentine’s Day. The plan was to hold an open house in March, marking the opening of the establishment, but those plans were put on hold while focus was switched to Marcia’s health issues. Now that Marcia is feeling better, they are ready for guests to stay with them.
"We’re ready to go and have more guests come," Marcia said.
Avid bicyclists themselves, the couple hopes the home’s location just six blocks from the High Trestle Trail bike trail will attract bicyclists looking for a place to stay. Marcia was told that Slater’s City Hall receives calls on a regular basis from people who are looking for a place to stay while in town, so the couple is not worried about a lack of business. Even if they do not have guests staying every night, the couple says they are doing it more for the experience and not as a money-making endeavor.
"We’re not out to make money from doing this," Brent said.
Guests will have the choice of staying in either the Bicycle Room, Mom’s Room or Pink Ribbon Room. The last room’s name came as the result of a Facebook contest the bed and breakfast held. Adorning the wall above the bed is a painting completed by Marcia’s friend’s daughter. Included in the painting are pink ribbons that form the outline of a bicycle and the quote, "When life kicks you, let it kick you forward," said by Kay Yow, the former North Carolina State women’s basketball coach who battled breast cancer for more than two decades before succumbing to the disease.
Breakfast will be served to the guests in the morning, with the option of a full or continental breakfast. Marcia said she held a test run, where she invited family and friends over to try several breakfast dishes she plans to serve guests. The dishes received positive reviews, much to Marcia’s delight. When guests call to make reservations, Marcia will ask them if they want something special prepared for breakfast, or if they prefer a continental breakfast.
The most important thing for the couple is that they want guests to feel as if the bed and breakfast is their "home away from home" during their stay. WiFi is available and guests can feel free to come and go as they please. The establishment will be open seven days a week throughout the year, and there is no limit on how long guests can stay.
"We want them to feel at home here," Marcia said.
To make reservations at The Hammond House Bed and Breakfast, call 515-460-3029 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.