Especially if you own one of the community’s oldest homes.
At the Bodine House, built in 1805, owners David and Marie Louise Smith rent out antique-decorated rooms in their personal home while providing breakfast, comfort, a piece of the past and a welcoming host and hostess.
The Smith’s have owned the home for 30 years and 25 years ago decided to open their home for guests. “We were the first bed and breakfast in Northcentral, Pa.,” Marie Louise said.
“There was nothing around here. Most people didn’t even know what a bed and breakfast was,” David said while the two chatted in The Philadelphia Sitting Room at the 307 S. Main St. home.
Antique furnishings, large fireplaces and hardwood floors are just a few of the elements that create a warm and inviting atmosphere for guests.
“We had traveled abroad and to New England and we fell in love with the inns and there was nothing here in this area of that style,” Marie Louise said when asked why the pair chose to to open a bed and breakfast.
The two, who are parents of four children, said they enjoyed having house guests when they lived in the Washington area. “We always had people visit... But here, there was nothing here in this town that you want to send your grandma to,” she said.
“We wanted people to experience what an old home is like.”
The old home features a dining room with a hearth and grandfather clock, an upstairs study that catches the afternoon sun, three bedrooms in the house and a two-story carriage house with a kitchenette.
Comfortable quilts decorate each bed in every bedroom, each of which has a private bath, cable television and wireless Internet access. “We try to furnish it in the period of the house” while keeping up with modern conveniences, David said.
Guests from all over the world, and most often from the neighboring states, have kept the Bodine House full and busy. “Over the 30 years, we have had wonderful people,” Marie Louise said of her guests. “And we get a lot of repeats. We have a great repeat clientele.”
The atmosphere and ambiance of a bed and breakfast is what guests look for. Many of The Bodine House’s “sophisticated” guests are tired of hotel and motel environments, the Smiths said.
“We have people who like the smaller home feeling. If you would come here, you would be considered like a member of the family and that’s the way we treat people,” Marie Louise said.
The Smiths have received many comments from guests, noting their hospitality. “It makes us feel good in the sense that people notice the graciousness of the host and hostess,” Marie Louise said.
Their welcoming attitude comes naturally — the Smiths live in The Bodine House as well. “We sleep in whatever bed is open,” the two joked.
Thoroughly clean rooms and a “country-style breakfast” made by David are part of the comforts available at The Bodine House. Sheets are ironed before being perfectly made on the bed.
“We wanted to let people who were traveling come to a place of peace, quiet and comfort and security,” Marie Louise said.
Guests from Williamsport and the local area often visit The Bodine House for a step away from the hustle and bustle of their everyday lives.
“They want to step back in time to a slower pace,” she said.
The upstairs study in The Bodine House provides a comfortable atmosphere for reading, relaxing or letter writing. Antique furnishings and the afternoon sun help guests feel at ease.