My mother saw a beaten-up, falling-down Victorian manor in 1977, and without any forethought, marched up to the falling-apart porch and knocked. When a decrepid little man came to the door, she surprised even herself by asking him if he would sell his house."I might", he responded.
She did buy it, and along the way, after over 2 years of extensive renovation, returning it to the warmth and elegant beauty of its beginning in1880, found a fabulous purpose, combining her expertis as a Yoga Teacher and love of antiques. The Kerr House, now on the 'Register of Historic Places, opened its doors as a private Health Retreat in 1980, where they work with the total person through exercise, nutrition, stress management, attitude, self esteem, and body treatments - quite a unique adventure for the midwest at that time. (The Kerr House has frequently been referred to in magazine and newspaper articles as one of the top ten spas in the country.)
My father supported her in this effort, but we lost him to lung cancer in 1983. My brother was her acclaimed Chef through the 80s, but he passed on due to a brain tumor in 1990.
The Kerr House only accomodates 6 to 8 guests at a time, so personal attention, like breakfast in bed, is a favorite feature. Groups of friends, families and businesses can also reserve the entire house for their group.
Despite the tragedies, or perhaps ...inspired by the wonderful men who supported her, she has been in business almost 40 years, with guests returning over and over. At one time The Kerr House was appraised for $1,633,000, but that figure is in the past now.
When the economy crashed in 2008, it hit The Kerr House very hard. It would have been easy to close, but my mom stubbornly stayed loyal to her staff of 30 and returning guests, and stayed optimistic that the economy would improve, and it has, but not fast enough to save The Kerr House.
Now the bank has decided to close in, and is moving very fast. After almost 40 years of success in helping transform lives, the bank is foreclosing.
My mom works many 100 hour weeks with her guests, and she is non-stop at 83 years old, and loves what she is doing. She is a true inspiration to her guests, staff, and anyone who knows her. But now her business and her future are in total danger. Unless she can come up with $300,000 within three
weeks, she could lose everything and still be in debt.
Would you help us SAVE THE KERR HOUSE? Please visit their website at www.TheKerrHouse.com.
- Charles Ruckel
- JB Bott
- Leah Walsh
- Sharon Clifford
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