It’s out in the country, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but also sits along a paved road and is easily accessible to those who want to go there. The Purple Barn in Adel is the newest bed and breakfast in the area.
The new bed and breakfast, a brick house located at 25074 323rd Place in Adel, came to be shortly after Valerie Wallace, the owner, built a new house across the street and repurposed the house for her new business venture and officially opened for business on Nov. 1, 2016.
After going to school in Adel and living in Booneville for the first 19 years of her life, she moved into the house that currently holds the Purple Barn Bed and Breakfast after her grandmother passed away in December, 1999. She went on to live there for 16 years.
Recently, she made the move to build her new house on the other side of the road and move in there.
“As I’m getting older I realized that a 2-story house with one bathroom probably was, for my future, something I needed to work against,” Wallace said. “So we decided, me and my mom, that I would build a smaller, 1-story house, make it easier.”
Even after the move in September of 2015, she wasn’t ready to give up the house she had lived in for 19 years, the one that had been in the family since 1943.
“It’s a good, solid, beautiful house and I just wasn’t ready to get rid of it,” Wallace said. “Friends of mine throughout the years of me living there suggested that ‘hey, this would be a great bed and breakfast’ just because of four bedrooms and it’s nice location, it’s on a paved road. So I thought ‘well, let’s see if we can make this happen.’”
The house was originally built in 1934 and was ahead of its time. The house was built with indoor plumbing and a bathroom, something not very many houses out in the country had at the time.
Wallace said that she is an only child and an only grandchild on both sides of her family and that she and her mother are the only ones left in her family. That’s why it is special to her and her mother to keep the house in the family and continue to make use of it.
“There’s a special spot in my mom’s heart for the fact that I wasn’t ready to get rid of it and take it out of the family,” Wallace said. “I think she’s quite pleased that I’m still using it to a benefit.”
Even though this is her first shot at being a business owner, she does have certain experiences that will help her.
“I was in the restaurant business for 25 years so I know that side of it,” Wallace said. She went on to say that while in the restaurant business, she did everything from bartending, to waitressing, to cleaning and dishwashing but she never cooked.
She originally wanted to have the Purple Barn open for business by May 1, 2016 but she hit a big snag in the road that caused her to almost give it up.
In March, she said a farmer drove down the road in a combine that’s “bigger than the power lines” and yanked the power lines out of the house, leaving the house without power for three months. She said it took seven weeks alone just to get the permits to replace the poles that were torn down in the accident.
“So that added a pretty good sized bill that I wasn’t expecting to get power back to it, and of course, you have to do that in steps,” Wallace said. “You have to get the permit to do the pole and you have to MidAmerican to hook up the power to the pole and then you have to get an electrician to hook up from the pole to the house and then fix any wiring that was destroyed inside the house.”
She said the process went quickly once the electrician was able to start, but it was quite expensive.
Aside from needing to redo all of the power in the house, the only other renovations she made were updating a few things in the bathroom and repainting the walls. All of the furniture in the house was inherited from her grandmother, except for the love seat, the dining room table and four of the five beds, which were all purchased recently.
Wallace said that it is more fun and less stressful than she thought it would be but there is one thing she has learned in the early going: to cut down on the portions at breakfast.
The 5-year plan
Wallace has a five-year plan for the property and it even includes the Purple Barn that serves as the namesake for the bed and breakfast.
“Eventually I would like to be able to do weddings either in the yard or in the actual barn,” Wallace said. “It needs… truly just a little bit of work, but I would like to be like a destination place for weddings.”
She would also like to be able to be open for groups of hunters during hunting season.
At the end of five years, she would also like to be able to turn the grain bin on the other side of the road into a honeymoon suite.
Wallace can be reached for inquiries at (515)979-4306.