Couple follows their dream of Bed and Breakfast to Adirondack cottage in Wilton

  • The SereniTea Bed and Breakfast in Wilton. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • The SereniTea Bed and Breakfast in Wilton. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • The SereniTea Bed and Breakfast in Wilton. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • The SereniTea Bed and Breakfast in Wilton. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • The SereniTea Bed and Breakfast in Wilton. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • The SereniTea Bed and Breakfast in Wilton. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • The SereniTea Bed and Breakfast in Wilton. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • The SereniTea Bed and Breakfast in Wilton. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • The SereniTea Bed and Breakfast in Wilton. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • The SereniTea Bed and Breakfast in Wilton. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 7/15/2019 11:36:33 AM

With its idyllic storybook cottage look, Pam and Peter Clemens knew they had found their perfect home when they first saw 602 Isaac Frye Highway.

The home was initially built as a Federal-style home in the 1700s by Richard Taylor Buss and his wife, Betty Ballard. However, in the 1870s, it was purchased by the Davis family, who moved the house back, turned it around and enlarged it, leaving the core of the house, but adopting an Adirondack cottage style for the exterior.

The home remained in the Davis family for decades and was eventually passed to their daughter Mary and her husband, John Edward Devlin, and then to their daughter, Marjory Devlin Moors, who kept it as a summer home with her husband, Francis Moors.

When Marjory Devlin Moors died, she left the house to her nephew, Donald Scott, who eventually sold the property in 1968 to Leonard and Judy Peterson, who owned the house until the Clemens purchased the property.

“When we saw it, I fell in love immediately,” Clemens said.

Originally from Massachusetts, they bought the property about five years ago. It was the culmination of nearly five years of looking for a suitable property to turn into a bed and breakfast.

The house wasn’t zoned for a business, but Clemens said she had a good feeling about it anyway.

“I said, ‘God, if this is the property, just show me a sign.’”

When a tour of the house included a book cover poster for the former home owner’s book, “Follow Your Heart: And Discover God’s Dream for You,” she knew she had received her sign.

“I believe the house found us as much as we found the house,” Clemens said.

Now, the house has been brought back to its historic sensibilities, Clemens said, and she and her husband have removed some of the lingering 1970s decors. Now, the house and former carriage house are decorated with displays of vintage clothing Clemens collects, antique furniture and posters and photographs bought at a local auction house.

Since buying the house, the Clemenses have gotten approval to house up to three guests in the three primary bedrooms on the second floor, as a bed and breakfast. She also hopes to be able to eventually hold small functions in the old carriage house, which they have converted to recreational space. Specifically, Clemens specializes in holding high teas, which she used to do in Massachusetts as fundraisers.

They have converted the third story, which was once the living quarters for the servants, into a living space for themselves.

As they continue to restore the home, she and her husband Peter are constantly finding surprises, Clemens said. They found a wooden packing box, addressed to the Davis family, which they turned into a table for their converted barn. They believe the box once was used to deliver a hallway mirror, which still hangs in the second story of the house today.

They’ve uncovered a few other gems from the house’s history, Clemens said. When they had to cut back a grove of azaleas, when a fallen tree branch damaged them, they uncovered an old hand pump, which still works. They found cloth notices, signed by Francis Moors, one of the owners of the home, notifying the public that he would no longer be allowing people to swim in the spring on the property in order to keep the water clean.

The house has an elevator – no longer functional – which, as the story goes, was put in in the 1950s by Francis Moors wife, Marjory Devlin Moors, when her old dog could no longer climb the stairs to the second floor.

Clemens said finding the history of a home is part of the joy of restoring it.

“I guess I’m a person with an old soul,” she said. “I just feel it’s important to preserve it so other generations can enjoy it.”

For more information and photographs, visit sereniteabedandbreakfast.com.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.




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