Apple Tree Lane Bed & Breakfast
Top Rated Bed & Breakfast in Waupaca, Wisconsin
Step onto the front porch of our Waupaca, Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast, located in a beautifully updated 1880’s Victorian farmhouse, and peer through the original double-glass doors, etched with the historic name “Crystal River Farms”, reminding all who enter of the home’s rich history.
The House, The Land, The River~ A Very Special Place
Enter the spacious & welcoming foyer with wood flooring, 11-foot ceilings and an impressive walnut staircase winding to the restful guestrooms. The beautiful parlor, with pretty bay windows, sits off the foyer and has huge pocket doors that lead to the lively Orchard Room. It is the perfect gathering space. The cozy wood stove frames an ornate antique mirrored mantle and invites you to sit a spell around her warmth and cozy up to read, or catch a game on the Inn’s big screen TV.
The many Inn’s common areas are to be used and enjoyed!
You can step outside on the large covered porch and enjoy the glider, lounge chairs or bistro table and chairs while overlooking the perennial gardens.
Then enjoy a leisurely walk and stroll past the historic coach house, chicken coop, and barn to the Crystal River, pond and trickling streams growing fresh watercress!
Meander across a footbridge to a private island spot, where fish are ready to be caught and deer frolic in the woods! As you explore the grounds, picture how beautiful a country inn wedding would be. We already offer a wide array of travel retreats and it would be our pleasure to host such a special event.
A complimentary glass of wine or soft drink is offered at check-in and we are happy to help you at that time to learn more about the area, and hear recommendations of what and where to go as you plan your next day’s activities in the Waupaca, WI area! In the morning, awake to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and tea. Enjoy in the Parlor, or on the covered porch, while awaiting a delicious breakfast served in the dining room.
Breakfast in your room (suite rooms only), on the covered porch or on the go is also available by request. We are happy to accommodate special dietary requests; please notify us upon reservation. It is only fitting for the Apple Tree Lane Bed & Breakfast to have the house specialty be apple pecan baked oven pancakes and apple strudel muffins. The creme brulee french toast and the banana split bread rival for the favorites of the house, however! A small guest refrigerator is filled with complimentary beverages, and there is a small microwave (perfect for popcorn to have for your movie?!) The coffee bar with Keurig machine and electric tea kettle is ready 24/7 for your favorite beverage. You also just might find delicious goodies waiting for you on the buffet.
We are Travel Green Wisconsin Certified.
The Apple Tree Lane Bed & Breakfast is proud to support and be certified as a Travel Green Wisconsin business.
We believe that it is our responsibility to be good stewards of the resources the earth provides for our use.
We continue to look for ways to do our part in protecting our valuable and limited natural resources and leave a low carbon footprint. Here are some ways we are doing just that:
We all need to find small and big ways to help protect our world!
Rob and I (Becky) talked for years about running a resort or a B&B after our 6 kids were grown. In December of 2020, our kids were asking us what our plans were now that our youngest was about to graduate from high school. We told them about wanting to own a B&B and decided to start looking at B&Bs for sale in Wisconsin since we thought it could take a couple of years of visiting different places to find the perfect fit. We saw the Apple Tree Lane B&B’s listing and decided to stay there for our 35th wedding anniversary in January 2021. After just one night, we fell in love with the house, the barn, the coach house, the fresh water springs, the ponds, the small, private island and the 400 feet of Crystal River front property. It is all so beautiful, and the Waupaca area has a wide variety of activities for visitors to choose from year-round.
As I was planning to keep my fulltime software engineering job for at least a few more years, we would need someone to run the B&B. Our daughter and son-in-law, Allison and Kyle Stansbury, had been talking for years about moving from Louisville, KY to a farm out west where they could do some organic gardening and host a wedding venue. We asked them to come up and visit the Apple Tree Lane B&B in February and they also fell in love with it. It is such a wonderful setting for weddings, there is enough open land for gardening and lots of available wood for hobby woodworking.
Since our youngest still needed to finish up his senior year of high school and we had to sell our house in Illinois, we needed a longer timeline for buying and transitioning ownership and, thankfully, Kerri and Mike were open to that. With all of the pieces in place, we started on the journey to become B&B owners.
Experience and Roles
Allison has over 5 years of experience as an event and wedding planner. She is skilled in wedding design, customer service, customer satisfaction, and customer retention. One of her styled wedding shoots was featured on the March 2021 cover of Kentucky Bride Magazine. Allison is the general manager and wedding consultant for the B&B.
Rob previously owned and managed 3 apartment buildings in Chicago consisting of 23 units for 10 years. Rob also owned his own handyman and remodeling business for about 20 years. He will oversee restoring some of the older buildings and will be the facilities manager.
Becky will continue her fulltime job as a software engineer and will help with keeping the books and fill in for Allison as needed.
Kyle will continue working his fulltime job remotely and will enjoy investing any free time in his gardening and woodworking hobbies.
The historic Victorian farmhouse that is now our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Inn was built in the early 1880’s by Charles Judson Churchill and his wife, Ann Elizabeth (Walker) Churchill, and was known as Churchill Farms. Throughout his career, Charles held various government positions, while Ann raised their six children, was vice president of the Woman’s Relief Corps and was well known for her lovely gardens. In fact, the property originally boasted a wonderful, large glass greenhouse. Although only pictures remain of the greenhouse today (come see the wall of history in the Orchard Room), the old stone foundation of the attached icehouse remains on the property.
Around 1919, the Pennebecker family purchased the property and for decades owned and operated the farm, which was one of the largest apple orchards in the region. The apple orchards are full of history and fragrance for the Inn, including the Wolf River Apple Tree–the tree is well over 100 years old and the patriarch of the orchard. Although damaged from wind and storms, it still produces huge apples–perfect for baking the Bed & Breakfast feasts!
Only five other owners occupied this home, until Mike & Kerri Thiel purchased this historic homestead in 2006. It was a private residence, so their heart and soul went into turning it into a Bed & Breakfast. A lot of work, in a short amount of time happened in 2006, as the doors opened in July. The Thiel’s invite you to experience this warm and welcoming place for your enjoyment.
Large pocket doors lead to The Study and is another gathering place at the Inn. The doors can be open or closed for privacy. Lots of comfortable seating, a place to put your feet up, a TV, and cozy wood-burning stove make this room the place to relax. Play a game, read a book or watch a game or movie on the big screen (ask the Innkeeper for a box of popcorn! ).
Covered Porch & Gardens
Off The Study is the door leading to the quaint-covered porch (seasonal). There is a glider, table & chairs, and wicker lounge chairs to enjoy while looking out toward the white picket fenced garden and into the apple orchard. You will enjoy many birds too with a “Birds of Wisconsin” book on the porch to serve as your guide. You may spot a deer or two also. Enjoy an iced tea and game of cards out here.
The Parlor is a favorite reading spot for many with views out a large, sunny, window. This is where people really seem to enjoy sitting with their coffee before breakfast and plan out their day. This is also where a glass of wine is often shared.
The Dining Room is where you will often find tasty treats on the buffet, cold beverages in the guest refrigerator, tea kettle, and Keurig hot beverage bar, available 24/7. And of course, the favorite option spot for breakfast in the morning.
River & Land
And of course, the 7.5 acres and 400 ft. of Crystal River frontage, gives you plenty of space to explore.
What guests have said, time and time again, is how wonderfully the Inn is set up to enjoy the common areas. Yes, there are those who want nothing more than to cozy up in their rooms, and not leave. That is the comfort and privacy we offer too. However, many times, couples, group of friends, “you alone” escaping for a much-needed getaway, a person here on business, or an entire family reunion taking over the Inn, want to spread out and enjoy alone time, or each others company, comfortably, in places outside of just their guest rooms.
This is not a B&B where the common area seems to be more of a “holding” place to wait to eat breakfast. As nice as that B&B may be, there may be little warmth, welcoming, or comfortable in the space. Or, common areas that are always shared by the Innkeepers, because it is their only living space too. I know when we traveled personally, we felt as if we might be intruding. Not at the Apple Tree Lane B&B.
Come and enjoy all that the Inn offers! We look forward to your stay!
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