When my mom first asked if I’d want to spend the weekend with her in southeast Iowa, we didn’t put much thought into where we’d stay. But after a quick Google search we found we didn’t have too many nearby options.
Finally we decided on the Bentonsport Village Bed & Breakfast and, let me tell you, we weren’t disappointed.
The bed and breakfast has been operated by Jan and Herb Shafer for the past few years. When the couple purchased the home they completely restored it to its 1840s glory. If you stay with them, be sure to flip through their photo album full of pre- and mid-renovation photos. It’s extraordinary to see the home’s transformation.
While we were the only people staying at Hancock House during our visit, Jan and Herb made us feel right at home with lots of local recommendations, anecdotes about Bentonsport (population 40), and some seriously delicious breakfast. We stayed in the Rachel Brown room, which has a full bed, private bathroom and a pair of cozy armchairs perfect for cracking open that book you’ve been meaning to read.
In the morning, we were treated to an incredible homemade breakfast—because, as Jan said, they want to make sure you get your money’s worth (already accomplished pre-breakfast)—around 8 am. I know I’m sometimes a little hyperbolic when it comes to truly delicious food. But I’m still thinking about the caramelized pecan blueberry French toast we enjoyed on Sunday morning.
If you’re in the area—or even if it’s a bit of a detour—the Bentonsport Village B&B is a great place to spend the night.
The History of the Hancock House
The main part of the Hancock House was built in 1847 by architect James Brown. Originally the back part of the home was used as a schoolhouse. Brown lived there until he built a new home, just up the road. After that Captain Frederick Hancock—a pioneer storekeeper, early Iowa legislator, and for whom the house was later named—purchased the property.
Fun fact: The home contains 39 different kinds of wood. The floor plans for the house—along with the types of wood used to construct it—are stored in the Library of Congress. The Shafers were able to access and use the plans to accurately restore the property.
Staying at the Bentonsport Village Bed & Breakfast
To book your stay at the Bentonsport Village Bed & Breakfast, you’ll need to contact the Shafers via phone or email. The B&B only accepts personal checks and your first night’s deposit must be received to confirm a reservation.
You can choose between the Fredrick Hancock Room ($105/night) and Rachel Brown Room ($95/night). The latter has an additional room available at a per person rate if you’re traveling with a larger group. All stays include the largest, most delicious homemade breakfast you’ll ever eat (no exaggeration here).
Just an FYI: there’s no wifi at the B&B so if you’re looking for a connection, your best bet is probably the Caribou Coffee in Fairfield. This is your relaxing getaway, remember?
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 319.592.3191
Bentonsport Village Bed & Breakfast, 21864 Walnut Street in Bentonsport, Iowa
i’m curious to see what else you did during your stay? i’m from southeast iowa…
Thanks for reading, Sarah! I’d love to share what else I was up to during my visit. My mom was taking a class at the Village Folk School which was the original reason for our trip.
But while we were in the area we also explored nearby Bonaparte and Keosaqua before heading to Burlington on our way home. You can read about all of our stops—including a walking tour of Bentonsport I just published—here: http://bit.ly/1IBjDFe
Thanks again! And feel free to let me know if you have any other southeast Iowa recommendations. I’d love to hear them!
I have lived in the area or close by most of my life. A few of my favorite things to do in that area: drive through Lacey-Keosauqua State Park (be sure to stop at the stone shelter houses & beach!), eat at the Bonaparte Retreat restaurant, and visit the Dutchman’s Store in Cantril. Enjoy!
Thanks for reading, Pam! We were able to drive through Lacey-Keosauqua Park before we left and it was absolutely gorgeous. I’m excited to visit again soon to try out some of your other recommendations though!
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[…] of the best things about Bentonsport, Iowa—aside from the Village B&B—is it’s size. The unincorporated community has a population of about 40 and even if […]