Pierz welcomes its first bed and breakfast

Buch’s B & B to open at the end of the month; open house set for March 30

By Terry LehrkeNews Editor

Penny Buch, owner of the first bed and breakfast in Pierz, is anxious to welcome guests to a home she has worked for months to make comfortable, relaxing and welcoming.

Buch got the go-ahead from the city in May 2013 and moved from Illinois in August 2013. The work began in October 2013.

The house, known as the “Weiss House” because it was the home of Sylvester and Mae Weiss for most of the 1900s, was built in the late 1800s.

Buch, who said she needed a change from corporate America, wanted to move back to the area to be near relatives. She is a member of the Girtz family from Pierz, the granddaughter of Jake and Rose Girtz, who had 18 children. Every summer, her family would come back for family reunions.

Buch said she fell in love with the house, but realized it was much too large for just herself and the idea for a bed and breakfast was born.

Buch had the house completely gutted. Design ideas she said she had in the back of her mind were brought to life with help from Sarah Rutz of Bob’s Lumber and Supply and by Jason Gruber who did much of the construction.

“I wanted it to be warm and welcoming and I couldn’t ask for anything better,” she said. “They brought to life what I had in my head.”

The rooms were made bigger, a parlor was added as was a sun room off the dining room, where guests can enjoy their morning coffee.

The front porch, just one of the reasons Buch fell in love with the house, is furnished with rocking chairs, another place guests can relax.

The kitchen, where Buch will prepare her specialty breakfast for guests, has been updated with new appliances, but remodeled with an old-fashioned charm in mind.

That’s what Buch wanted — to remodel the home with an eye toward its colonial heritage — a place where people could relax and feel comfortable, like they were visiting “Grandma’s house,” she said.

The B & B has three guest rooms upstairs, each named after a person and decorated with that person’s personality in mind. Each has a handmade quilt on the bed, two of them made by Buch herself.

“Mae’s Room,” is named after Mae Weiss. Buch said Mae was “a very proper, well-dressed lady and very well put together.” This description came to life for Buch as she listened to one of Mae’s former students describe her. This room is decorated very much as a lady’s room.

“David’s Room” is named after Buch’s deceased husband. Since he was an avid golfer, the room reflects a golfing theme.

“Jake’s Room” is named after Buch’s grandfather. He was a farmer and the room features a farm painting, a toolbox and a headboard she had Ray Poepping of Pierz make out of what was once a door.

Outside each door is a photo of the person the room is named after. The hallways are lined with family photos, as would any home.

Each guest will be provided with a robe with the Buch’s B & B logo and a matching pair of slippers. While the robe must stay (but can be purchased), guests are welcome to take the slippers home.

Buch also has a variety of items made with the logo that people may purchase if they so desire.

All of the work on the home was done by local contractors: Kasper’s Drywall, Buckman Electric, Lochner Plumbing, Rolling Hills Greenhouse (landscaping), Kurtz Furniture and Carpet, appliances from RadioShack. Buch’s logowear was made by The Clothesline in Pierz and each guest will receive a basket with lotions, shampoos and soaps made by SherriLynn’s in Pierz. The business sign was painted by local artist, Dennis Vanderpoel.

“I’m very fortunate because of the size of my family, all my aunts and uncles,” said Buch. They were able to point her to the local help she needed.

“It is important for everyone in the community be a part of it,” said Buch. “Everyone has just been absolutely wonderful and very welcoming.”

To support the community in return, Buch is planning to have maps made of local establishments, sights to see, things to do and more.

She also wants to collect stories of Mae Weiss, who was an area teacher for many years. Buch would like to put a book together with hand-written memories of those Weiss influenced over the years, to bring that history to the forefront.

Buch will hold an open house at the B & B, Sunday, March 30, from noon – 4 p.m. and invites everyone to come to see the home. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 11:45 a.m.

To support the community, Buch asks that those who come bring a non-perishable item for the Pierz Food Shelf.

For information on the bed and breakfast, offering memories about Mae Weiss or the grand opening, contact Buch at (320) 468-7120.