An Opportunity to Preserve a Legacy, Embrace Growth, and to Own a Piece of History

An Opportunity to Preserve a Legacy, Embrace Growth, and to Own a Piece of History

In 1886, Harvey J. Kingsley drives his shovel into the soil just a stone's throw from the shores of Lake Michigan. In what would become the quaint town of Fennville, Michigan, Kingsley lays the foundation for a flourishing agricultural community.

Central to this vibrant society are the sprawling apple orchards that Kingsley himself is planting, and these orchards would come to define the essence of the area.

Surrounded by the bountiful landscape, that today is home to multiple orchards and diverse wineries, Kingsley embarked on the creation of a historic masterpiece in the heart of Fennville.

Drawing inspiration from a recent holiday to the East Coast, Kingsley's wife envisioned a Queen Victorian-style residence, a testament to opulence with luxurious living spaces, an abundance of natural wood finishes, and the refinement in design that would come to define the era.

Before making our way to the Kingsley House, Kate and I take a moment to explore downtown Fennville. The streets here are filled with character, and locally owned businesses dominate the landscape, from the Fernwood 1891 Art Gallery to the Blue Goose Café.

Just a few miles to the West lie the Fenn Valley and Modales wineries, adding to the appeal of this enchanting location. Our brief stroll to the Kingsley estate is accompanied by the awe-inspiring view of the residence.

The steep-pitched roof lines, expansive wrap-around porch, and meticulously manicured grounds serve as unmistakable indicators that we have indeed found the home we sought.

Stepping into the home feels like a journey back to an era where gas lamps cast a warm glow on lively conversations in the parlor. One can almost smell the scent of pipe tobacco as we transition from the foyer into the charming entertainment and dining space.

The once grand parlor has been artfully repurposed into the dining and sitting room, providing a seamless flow to the expansive front porch. From this vantage point, fortunate guests enjoy an elevated view of the quaint Fennville traffic making its way downtown.

In 1995, the renovation journey began under the ownership of Gary and Kari King. They ingeniously converted the single-family residence into a charming Bed and Breakfast.

Since then, the estate has passed through multiple hands, each new owner upholding the cherished tradition established by the Kings. This commitment doesn't stem from contractual obligations but rather from the shared desire to seize a distinctive opportunity:

to serve as stewards of the Kingsley Estate while simultaneously managing a thriving business.

This Bed and Breakfast proudly features eight guest suites, complemented by a separate owner's quarters. Every suite offers the convenience of its own en suite bath.

Five of these extraordinary accommodations grace the second floor of the manor, while the remaining two on the lower level provide exclusive access through private entrances.

Each suite offers a clever nod to Kingsley’s agricultural background, as they are named for varieties of apples.

Catering to those seeking a more intimate and theatrical ambiance, the attic underwent a transformative conversion to create the “Northern Spy Suite’’. This exclusive retreat features a finished tower and a jacuzzi tub, providing a truly unique experience.

The character, décor, and embellishments have played a crucial role in earning the Kingsley House the prestigious title of Trip Advisor's "Traveler's Choice" for the past 18 years.

  However, strategic updates could be implemented to reduce unnecessary costs and enhance profit margins. Considerations such as upgrading appliances to energy-efficient alternatives, replacing windows, and exploring the integration of solar energy could significantly contribute to cost savings for the new owners of the Kingsley House.

 Capitalizing on the two guest suites with private entrances presents a unique opportunity to expand services through platforms like Airbnb or VRBO, effectively reducing labor costs associated with accommodating additional guests.

Additionally, operating a Bed and Breakfast within a tight-knit community like Fennville opens doors for powerful collaborations. With Fenn Valley Vineyards and Modales Wines just moments away, the potential for creative partnerships is outstanding, promising a mutually beneficial partnership within the proud and vibrant community.

The Kingsley House Bed and Breakfast stands as a beacon of historic charm and hospitality. With a rich legacy, this carefully preserved estate in Fennville continues to captivate guests and earn nationwide accolades. While currently thriving with a gross income nearing $300,000 per year, the Kingsley House holds promising avenues for growth and enhancement.

As stewards of this historic estate, the future owners have the chance to not only preserve its cherished traditions but also to embrace creative opportunities for sustainable growth.

In the heart of Fennville, the Kingsley House beckons as more than a business – it is an immersive experience, a testament to timeless elegance, and an invitation to weave new chapters into its storied history.

- Matt Goldman, Grand Rapids House and Home

At the time of publishing, the Kingsley House is currently listed For Sale at $975,000.

To view the listing, more photos, or to schedule a tour to purchase click here.

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