1114 S Noland Rd Independence, MO 64050


Month: February 2019

Beach Cottage Memories

The Beach Cottage is one of our most popular accomodations.  It is a separate one-bedroom house with full kitchen and laundry.  Decorated in a nautical theme, our guests have found it to be a wonderful getaway, perfect for those who desire additional privacy, or for first-time B&B visitors.

I have older memories of the house, years before it was the Beach Cottage.

A Little History

The lot where the Cottage is now located originally contained a much larger house, the front wing of the original Napolian Bonaparte Stone house.  (The main house that today the makes up the B&B was the rear wing of the original house.)  The house was moved onto the lot about 1926.  As the couple that lived in the house grew older, the house fell into disrepair and was demolished about 1961.

Stone-Gamble Split

The small one-bedroom house that we know as the Beach Cottage was erected about 1964 on the back of the lot where the old house had been.  It was built for caretakers of the main house (now the Silver Heart Inn), and was occupied intermittently throughout the years.

Beach Cottage Front

This is where I come into the story.  In junior high school, I met classmate Evan, who lived in the main house with his grandparents.  We became fast friends, and I often rode my bike about a mile to visit during the summer.  In high school, we spent Saturday evenings with other classmates and friends and played Risk in the main house.

Risk Box 1980

Up All Night

I well remember a sleepover one night in the “Little House,” as it was known then.  It must have been about the summer of 1977.  Evan and I watched the huge wooden console television all night: Johnny Carson, then the Late Show, then the Late, Late Show.  After the sun came up, we got about an hour of sleep.

Moving On

Evan and I graduated from high school and went our separate ways.  The Little House became a rental property, and was used for a time as the office of Shirley’s interior decorating business.  It must have been a large concern, because when we purchased the home, we noticed that two phone lines had been run to the cottage.

The Beach Cottage at the B&B

Melanie and I bought the main house in the spring of 2012.  The property included the Little House, so it became part of our B&B.  We decided to decorate it as a beach cottage, as a tribute to Melanie’s childhood summer visits to the New Jersey shore and Virginia beaches, and to my years in the Navy in exotic places close to a beach.

The ancient wood-cabinet television in the living room was long gone, and where it stood we put in an electric fireplace with an LED television above.  The bathroom and kitchen got beautiful tile on the walls, and new counters and sinks.  The kitchen cabinets were refinished and the fixtures were modernized.  We refurbished a ceiling fan in the living room and installed a new one in the bedroom.  The bedroom featured a seaside mural along the top of the wall, hand painted by Melanie and daughter Amy.  The sand and shell bedside lamps were assembled by daughter Emily.

Beach Cottage Bathroom
Beach Cottage Kitchen
Beach Cottage Bedroom
Beach Cottage Mural

We spent a couple of months during the sweltering summer of 2012 remodeling the house.  By September, everything took on a new sense of urgency.  Melanie secretly arranged with Evan and my high school friends to come for a Risk Reunion.  One of my friends booked the Beach Cottage to stay in, though at the time I didn’t know it was him.  All I knew was that we had our first customer in a week and a half!

The Final Push

If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would ever get done!  I took off work the week before arrival to finish all the improvements in time.  I repaired the bathtub, then sanded and painted to finish.  All the rooms had bead board paneling mounted and topped with decorative crown molding, then the walls were painted.  We planted sea grass in front of the porch and rigged a soaker hose to keep it from withering in the heat.  We finished in the nick of time and our first guest (my old Risk friend) had a delightful time.

More Improvements

Since our first visitor, we have continued to improve the Beach Cottage.  The next summer, we added a rock beach and boardwalk to improve the experience and make the path easier.  In the last year, we have added a separate WiFi access point and replaced the roof.  This year, we installed a new fireplace, upgraded the TV to 43-inch, and we have plans for even more improvements over the summer.

This way to the Beach Cottage
Beach Cottage Exterior looking SSW

The Perfect Stay

Many people have enjoyed staying at the Beach Cottage.  We often get compliments for the comfortable bed.  A kitchen with microwave and full-sized stove mean that our visitors can prepare meals, if they desire.  For guests with reduced mobility, the cottage is on one level with one step and one threshhold between the parking lot and the living room.

The Beach Cottage is isolated from the main house and the street, so you can enjoy secluded privacy.  It is the perfect getaway for your first visit to a B&B.  And, as with all our guests, you get a gourmet breakfast served each morning in the main house!

Won’t you consider staying with us in the Beach Cottage?

The Cabbage Rose Carpeting in the Parlor: Armenian Persecution, Persian Poetry and Bruce Springsteen

  Over two days, Melanie and crew removed the cabbage rose carpeting from the main parlor. The wool carpeting had stood up for ages, but it finally succumbed to wear and tear. Originally installed in the 1950s, it is fair to say that it was one of the first wall-to-wall carpets in Independence.

An Historical Reminder

  When we bought the house in 2012, there was identical wool carpet on the floor of the dining room. Because it was stained and water damaged beyond repair, we immediately took it up. But the carpet in the parlor was in better condition than the dining room, though it had definite wear patterns in high-traffic areas. We left the carpet in place there as a vivid reminder of the house’s historical past. In corners where the traffic was minimal, it was possible to see the colors nearly as bright as when the carpet was new.

Original Carpeting

The Carpet

  The Gamble family told the tale of how Avanell had the wool carpet installed when Roy was out of town. Roy reportedly did not like the carpet at first, but it grew on him. The carpeting featured a pattern of pink cabbage roses (Rosa centifolia) with green stems and foilage. The installation included premium horsehair padding and carpeting stretched to wooden tack strips. The manufacturer name, Karagheusian, was stamped on the backing of the carpeting along with the carpet line, Gulistan.

Karagheusian Rugs

  Two Armenian brothers, Arshag and Mihran Karagheusian, belonging to a family that had been weaving rugs in Turkey since 1818, emigrated to America in 1896 to flee persecution by the Ottoman Turks. In 1904 they opened a carpet mill in Freehold, New Jersey and soon became a major employer in the area. In the 1930s, they wove the carpet for the Radio City Music Hall and the United States Supreme Court Building. The Karagheusian Gulistan label represented the top of the line.

Karagheusian Carpeting Label

Time Marches On

By the 1950s, the Karagheusians had added tufted carpeting to their line of woven rugs, continuing under the Gulistan name. During these prosperous times, many Americans installed wall-to-wall carpeting in their homes. The Gambles were one of the first families to do so in Independence.

Arshag Karagheusian, the last surviving brother, passed away in 1963. The company was sold and the carpet mill in Freehold was closed the next year. Bruce Springsteen sang about the carpet mill in the song, “My Hometown,”

They’re closing down the textile mill across the railroad tracks
Foreman says these jobs are going boys and they ain’t coming back


  The Gulistan was the title of an influential book of stories and poems written in 1258 by the Persian poet Sa’di. Gulistan means “rose garden,” a collection of roses as a metaphor for the collection of stories and poems. The book was (and is) widely quoted in the East for its wisdom. “I was sad because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet,” is from The Gulistan.

Now and the Future

  Our parlor now has a hardwood floor covered by two large woven rugs. It is quite elegant, yet we miss the original wool carpeting with the roses. We hope one day to possibly have the carpet reproduced, so that the Karagheusian Gulistan design might one day return to the Silver Heart Inn.

Before and After Photos

  In October 2015, a photographer took pictures of the inn, including the parlor.  To compare, I recently (February 2019) took some pictures with my phone to match those shots. Please excuse my lousy photography. We currently have two rugs covering the wood floor.  And over the years, we’ve moved the furniture around.

Parlor, Sep 2015 looking East
Parlor, Feb 2019 looking East
Parlor, Sep 2015 looking West
Parlor, Feb 2019 looking West
Parlor, Sep 2015 looking South
Parlor, Feb 2019 looking South
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