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The Davie School Inn is located in Anna, Illinois, which is a city near the eastern side of Shawnee National Forest. The business is open year-round and offers 11 units for guests to reserve. Notably, all of the guestrooms are located inside what used to be the classrooms of a schoolhouse for the town. In 1910, one of the buildings on the premises was constructed and used to teach K-5 elementary. Moreover, the second building was finished in 1953, with the addition of a gymnasium and three more classrooms to the school. In 1998, the building closed, and the school children attended a different school that was built that same year. A few years later, it reopened as a bed and breakfast in 2004 and has been operating as such ever since. Currently, the gymnasium is occasionally used for events and can host concerts as well. Breakfast is provided to everyone that stays at the inn.
The Davie School Inn offers a total of 11 units to the public for reservation. Eight of these are found in the original building, and the other three are located in a separate building that was constructed as part of the original school in 1953. In the words of the owner, each room is uniquely named and decorated after "one color in a box of crayons" and has corresponding curtains in their rooms. The guestrooms are also decorated with specific subjects in mind, as one room is characteristic of furniture that relates to art and music while another has a theme more closely revolving around geography. The Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow rooms are on the first floor, while the second floor is comprised of the Brown, Black, Orange, and White rooms. A landing in the newer building on the lower level offers the Pink, Purple, and Gold suites, which are spaces that are more oriented toward providing a romantic atmosphere. Regardless of which room is reserved, each one has a dining area with a table and chairs. They all have king-sized beds, air-conditioning, furnaces, hot water, and private, full bathrooms. Sinks and tubs are contained in each of the bathrooms. A kitchenette that is equipped with plates, coffee cups, wine glasses, a wine decanter, a microwave, and the supplies to make coffee or tea are also located inside the suites. Everyone staying at The Davie School Inn additionally receives breakfast in the morning.
Each morning, the owners serve something different than what they did the previous day, allowing guests who are staying for several days to have something new the following morning. As reported by the owners, one of the more popular "signature dishes" that they can prepare is french toast with baked fruit such as peaches or apples. The signature dishes are often served with sausage, scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, orange juice, pastries, muffins, apple crisps, cookies, and more. A central dining area is not available at the schoolhouse, and for this reason, guests have their breakfast delivered to their rooms. The owners note that they make accommodations for specific food allergies and diets such as vegan, low-carb, and gluten-free, as well as others.
Beyond the property, there are a variety of wineries in the city. One area that they enjoy telling their patrons about is the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, where a small group of wineries is located. For those who take interest in spending time outdoors, visitors can go to Shawnee National Forest, which offers activities such as ziplining and horseback riding. Another outdoor recreational attraction is the bike trails that can be found in the vicinity. Those who don't have bikes of their own can rent a couple from the property if they would like. The owners also enjoy telling people about restaurants in the area, some of which are within walking distance of The Davie School Inn. One location that is found nearby is Brick House Grill. A few of the following restaurants are also recommended by the owners: Gordo's Pizzeria, The Villa-Pizza Villa, King's Wok, El Jalapeno, and Giant City State Park Lodge & Restaurant.
The business has several policies that guests are expected to abide by during their stay. Pets are prohibited from coming to the property, but accommodations can be made for service animals. Several rooms can hold up to four occupants per stay, but visitors are not allowed to have more than what their unit is capable of hosting. Children are permitted in the first-floor suites, which entail the Red, Blue, and Yellow rooms. The upper floor is capable of hosting patrons that are 14 years of age or older. There is a designated smoking area outside where guests can smoke, but they are prohibited from doing so indoors. Lastly, quiet time begins at 10:30 P.M. and ends at 7:30 A.M.
The gymnasium is used for events such as concerts and gatherings, and in the future, the owners would like to get decorations for more formal events namely weddings. Many of the musicians and bands that come to perform are local. The owner remarks that they once held a birthday party for a patron whose friends wanted to surprise her with a larger celebration. He mentions, "we try to make these events special and only hold them at specific times so that our other guests can rest and relax." These events typically take place once every three or four months and are usually only held when a single group rents out the building.
The Davie School Inn has received a number of patrons since it first opened as a bed and breakfast. Some former guests left reviews of their experiences at the inn, most commonly mentioning the breakfast and the owners' friendliness, as reported by one of the owners. A patron who recently stayed at the inn wrote, "We booked the Pink suite and could not have been happier. Lyle gave us a tour of the old schoolhouse and great suggestions on things to do. The next morning the breakfast was delivered to our room, and it was amazing."
Some people who have come to The Davie School Inn previously attended the school as students, teachers, or principals when it was operating as a school. The business reports that they often host guests who have been to the bed and breakfast before. According to the owners, the best season of operation tends to be from August to October. Autumn also tends to be a busy time of year for the city, as there are wineries that hold harvest festivals, and the weather tends to be "not too hot or too cold" for indoor and outdoor activities, the owner says.
The Davie School Inn was established as a bed and breakfast in 2004. However, the building was formerly used as a schoolhouse that taught K-5 elementary school. It was called The Davie School after Winstead Davie, who is known as the man who founded the city of Anna, which is named after his wife. In the 1950s, the city built the gymnasium and three other classrooms in a separate building. The last year that classes were held was 1998, after which the school closed. During that school year, a new elementary school was built and renamed The Davie School. This building remained closed and unused for about five years prior to 2004, when it was purchased and renovated to be a bed and breakfast. The business changed hands again in 2017 to Lyle and Tammy Woodrum, who are the current owners of The Davie School Inn. The gymnasium was boarded up when they bought the establishment and required new windows, ceilings, and air-conditioning units.
Lyle and Tammy Woodrum used to work in corporate America and have a history of working in human resources. They also have experience in running key infrastructure for large corporations. They both decided that they wanted to do something different, so they began searching for a bed and breakfast in 2014. Lyle mentions that they went to various bed and breakfasts that were for sale before finding and settling on The Davie School Inn. One aspect of running the bed and breakfast that Lyle enjoys has been interacting with guests and meeting new people. He explains, "We like to sit and talk with people out on the deck when time allows it."
Bed and Breakfast
Lyle and Tammy Woodrum