Innkeeper Elizabeth Hendrix moves from Alaska to fulfill a dream of owning a bed and breakfast

HOLLY SCHOLZ/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Crooked River Inn Bed and Breakfast owner Elizabeth Hendrix remodeled a 1906 Victorian-style home on Northwest Second Street, in Prineville. She hosted an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony last Friday. The bed and breakfast features two suites, decorated in the modern farmhouse theme. She opens for business on June 1.

The fresh, white walls, airy rooms and welcoming innkeeper invite travelers to make the Crooked River Inn Bed and Breakfast a destination place.

Elizabeth Hendrix has transformed a former Victorian-style home into a modern farmhouse inn, situated in the heart of Prineville.

“My goal is for guests at the Inn to feel that they are guests in my home and to serve them a hearty breakfast made from scratch every morning,” Hendrix says. “I think they will enjoy the personal attention in a clean, fresh and comfortable environment.”

The Inn opens June 1, but on Friday evening, Hendrix hosted an open house and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce. The open house was an opportunity for them to let the community know that they are open for business and to celebrate the results of the last six months of hard work.

“Many local people and companies contributed to helping us get this project to completion, and the event was also a way for us to thank them,” Hendrix said.

Visitors toured the home and were treated to an array of appetizers and drinks in the garden.

Hendrix moved to Prineville last fall. She was born and raised in Virginia and spent most of her adult live in Alaska. She has a large family with five children and 13 grandchildren.

“It has been a blessing to have their help and support throughout this project,” Hendrix says, adding that although she is the sole owner and operator, her family often pitches in to help.

Four years ago, she retired from being the sales manager for Blue Cross Blue Shield for the State of Alaska in order to take care of her ill husband. He passed away last summer, and she decided to pursue her dream of owning a bed and breakfast.

“Both the house and the town called to me,” Hendrix said. “I grew up in a small town and have a great appreciation for small-town living.”

Prineville is about the size Juneau, Alaska, was when she moved there about 40 years ago — it’s now more than 30,000 — and has a similar atmosphere. Juneau has more of a gold rush town feel rather than Prineville’s rodeo cowboy feeling — but lots of similarities, she said.

“I'm looking forward to making friends and becoming a part of the Prineville community,” Hendrix says.

She purchased the 2,600-square-foot home last fall and began the remodeling project the Monday after Thanksgiving. The Centennial farmhouse was built in 1906 and, after the remodel, offers two full suites.

Hendrix, along with her family and contractors, worked on the garages and the main floor first.

“If you could have seen what this place looked like six months ago — it was crazy,” Hendrix says. “My contractor guides and I gutted this entire house down to the studs. It does not look anything like it did.”

They gutted the main floor interior down to the studs and shiplap and kept the shiplap where they could. It was a huge project, removing layers and layers of wallpaper and old linoleum. Once the walls were open, they were able to replace all of the old knob and tube wiring, insulate the whole house, update the plumbing and put in central air and heat.

From there, they put it back together, making sure to maintain much of the old farmhouse character while providing modern conveniences. Once the downstairs was finished and the weather improved, they worked on the second floor, the fencing and landscaping.

HOLLY SCHOLZ/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Crooked River Inn Bed and Breakfast owner Elizabeth Hendrix, pictured on the left in the back row, opens for business June 1. Pictured next to her is her daughter, Samantha Green, from California, and front row, left, her daughter, Sarah Lauderdale, of Bend, and her family, Zoey, Kody, Kyla and husband, Brian.Upstairs, the first suite features a colorful tulip bedspread atop a queen-sized, old-fashioned feather bed. Sheer white curtains flutter in the breeze from the open windows. It has a private bathroom, kitchenette and sitting area with access to the second-story porch.

The second suite includes two bedrooms — both decorated in the masculine farmer and cowboy themes. One room has a king bed and the other has a full bed. This suite also includes a kitchenette, bathroom and sitting room.

On the first floor, is the innkeeper’s private dwelling, including an office, bedroom, bathroom and guest bedroom — for when her grandchildren visit.

Also downstairs is the kitchen — where all the magic happens — as well as the community dining and living rooms.

The home has a large garden which will provide fresh vegetables, herbs, seasonal berries and fruit. The chickens provide fresh eggs.

She invites her guests to explore the gardens and chicken village and to relax on the porches. Children can entertain themselves in the playhouse, which her grandchildren love.

They provide off-street parking and secure bike storage for those here to take advantage of the extensive bike trails in the area. Sack lunches are available on request.

They welcome small events like garden parties, weddings, bridal showers, book clubs, tea parties and family gatherings.

She caters to anyone who appreciates a little different experience while traveling.

“If you enjoy comfortable beds, good homemade food, a relaxed homey environment and personal attention — Crooked River Inn is a good choice,” Hendrix said.

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