For 24 years, Deb and Dave Wallace have welcomed countless guests at their bed-and-breakfast near downtown Anoka.
Now, there's a permanent room at the inn. The couple, who plan to retire, have listed their Ticknor Hill Bed and Breakfast,which includes a private innkeeper's quarters.
"We're hoping to sell so that someone else hopefully wants to continue in our footsteps and run an inn," Deb said. "Since it's been on the market, people who have looked at it have come up with a lot of different ideas of what it can be in the future. But [it's also] a turn-key property."
In all, the 4,200-square-foot Queen Anne Victorian comes with seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms and sits on a sprawling 1.3-acre property. The inn features four suites each with private bathrooms and fireplaces. The innkeeper's quarters, located in the back of the house, features a private entrance, porch, three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It functions as its own independent living space.
"Our guests use one entrance and we have a different entrance. From the standpoint of an owner and innkeepers, we have privacy and it's a good space," Deb said. "We have three bedrooms that do not connect with our guest bedrooms plus a kitchen, living room, laundry."
Listing agent Jeff Green said the house, built by the Ticknor family in 1867 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a local gem.
"It's one of the oldest homes in Anoka County," he said. "It has a very rich history."
Because of its historic designation, the exterior must remain historical in appearance, but updates can be made to the interior. The Wallaces have made several updates over the years, including adding a bathroom.
As far as running an inn, Deb said, a new owner without prior experience could learn the ropes, noting that she and her husband were newbies when they purchased the place in 1999, a few years after the previous owners turned it into a bed and breakfast. Several training classes through the Minnesota Bed and Breakfast Association (in which they eventually served as board members) later, the Wallaces got the hang of it.
"We had never done anything [in hospitality] before. I was a preschool teacher prior," Deb said. "It was really my passion, and I'm lucky that my husband went along with it."
Enjoying the era
As a B&B, the house has been part of the attraction, starting when guests drive up to the porte-cochere to check in.
"I think people who typically stay here are enthralled by the history of the house and all those nooks and crannies and the architecture of course," Deb said, adding that the turret suites on the main floor and second level are a popular draw. "People will say, 'I've always wanted to sleep in a turret and a tower and now I have.'"
The house also boasts a parlor, dining room, kitchen, billiard room, conservatory, office, patio and three porches as well as sizable lawn and gardens. It's also within walking distance of downtown Anoka.
"It's three blocks from Main Street, and there's a lot to do, from enjoying the restaurants to a brewery to wine bistros to the river," said Deb.
The house is also well-suited to serving that most important meal of the day.
"We serve a full breakfast and we have a spacious dining room," Deb said, adding that they have had to pivot during the pandemic. "We were adapting so that people had privacy and space and separation. We would deliver breakfast to a guest room door or front porch or we have a three-season observatory that has a little table for two. So there are a lot of niches for serving breakfast to our guests."
Jeff Green (firstname.lastname@example.org; 612-581-8759) of Edina Realty has the $900,000 listing.