Walt's Look Around: Inn of the Oaks B&B - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Inn of the Oaks B&B

And the end product is a place to stay in Decatur where there were no hotel, motel or B&B rooms before.  Source: WLBT And the end product is a place to stay in Decatur where there were no hotel, motel or B&B rooms before. Source: WLBT
"It's been an investment in our community and we feel like it will be an asset and hopefully inspire others to do the same in the area."    Source: WLBT "It's been an investment in our community and we feel like it will be an asset and hopefully inspire others to do the same in the area." Source: WLBT
And the inside had to be painted, stucco repaired, bathrooms added to make it into the B&B and refurnished.    Source: WLBT And the inside had to be painted, stucco repaired, bathrooms added to make it into the B&B and refurnished. Source: WLBT
To get the house back to this shape it had to be un-painted, closed-in porches had to be un-closed-in, the fence removed, and the yard landscaped.   Source: WLBT To get the house back to this shape it had to be un-painted, closed-in porches had to be un-closed-in, the fence removed, and the yard landscaped. Source: WLBT
DECATUR, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

This is a story of a fix-up project over in Newton County. This is sort of how you take a lemon and turn it into lemonade, but in this case, a couple of families took an old eyesore and turned it into a bed and breakfast.

Decatur is the County Seat of Newton County. It's about seven miles north of Interstate 20, so it manages to stay a quiet little town.  

But into each ointment a fly must fall. And the fly in Decatur's ointment was this home; fixed up now, but a few years ago, deserted and overgrown with a shaggy chain link fence propped up by weeds outlining it like chalk marks around a corpse.  

But then along came Pat and Dianne O'Neill and Randy and Lea Rushing, mayor and former mayor respectively. Randy, now a state representative, bought the house with two ideas in mind.

One, fix it up and turn it into a Bed and Breakfast. And just as importantly, make one of the first places you see coming into Decatur as inviting as the rest of the town. Make it into a good first impression.  

"This corner is one of the first things you see when you come to the Decatur area," said Randy Rushing, co-owner of Inn of the Oaks B&B. "We wanted to make it something the town would be proud of and it would give a positive impression of our town. We felt like that would do that."  

To get the house back to this shape it had to be un-painted, closed-in porches had to be un-closed-in, the fence removed, and the yard landscaped.

And the inside had to be painted, stucco repaired, bathrooms added to make it into the B&B and refurnished. And at the grand opening when the community turned out to see it, some people even offered items to fill in the gaps in proper furnishings.  

"People in the community have noticed that we have needed things that thy happened to have, said Dianne O'Neill, another co-owner. "So we've gotten loans and donations of pieces that either once came from this house or they just thought maybe belonged here."  

And the end product is a place to stay in Decatur where there were no hotel, motel or B&B rooms before, the entrance to the town cleaned up, and something else to be proud of instead of embarrassed by.  

"So it's not only a financial investment," said Randy. "It's been an investment in our community and we feel like it will be an asset and hopefully inspire others to do the same in the area."  

And with that, everybody sleeps better at night.   

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