With its antique brick and spanish-style roof, the Broad Street Manor opened its doors in September to serve the many guests of Hillsdale after being sold to Linda Aardema and Brian McGregor.
The bed-and-breakfast was formally owned by Hillsdale College Chairman and Professor of Philosophy and Religion Thomas Burke and his wife, Elizabeth. They sold the house to Aardema and McGregor in December 2018. The manor offers guests three bedrooms, each with their own bathroom, a living room, a formal dining room, a sunroom, and a bonus room with a large screen TV for movies.
“Moving has been a gradual process,” Aardema said “We still own the Royal Oak house, but everything we need is here on Broad Street.”
First Aardema closed her psychology practice in Birmingham, Michigan and they began to make many trips between their old home in Royal Oak and their new home in Hillsdale.
Since then, the two have made several upgrades to the Broad Street Manor, replacing toilets and completing a welding project to make an antique bed into a queen-sized bed.
Aardema said she wants to maintain the original charm of the Civil War-era home so she didn’t do any painting, she kept the period-correct wallpaper, and preserved the beautiful woodwork.
Director of Career Services Joanna Wiseley said she remembers visiting the house in the 1980s.
“I was in there probably in 1989 or 1990, and one of my friends was renting it at the time,” she said. “It’s expansive and beautiful, but all of the woodwork in the house was turquoise, really gaudy. It was awful. The staircase was beautiful, but it was turquoise. All the woodwork around the fireplace was even turquoise.”
When the Burkes owned the house, they restored the woodwork to its rich auburn color.
On the outside of the house, Aardema and McGregor had an underground irrigation system installed and they’ve added many fruit trees and flower beds.
Burke said he decided it was time to sell the house after living there for 25 years. When they lived there, they didn’t operate the house as a bed-and-breakfast.
“We had enjoyed it, renovated it completely, added an attached garage, back-porch family room, and patio with a fireplace,” Burke said. “It was becoming difficult to find people who would do repair and maintenance work, took a lot of work cleaning and gardening and cost to maintain, and was much larger than two people needed. You can only sit in one room at a time.”
The Broad Street Manor welcomed its first guests in late September for Hillsdale College’s first Center for Constructive Alternatives of the fall semester. Soon after, more guests came for the dedication of the college’s Christ Chapel in early October.
Aardema does most of the cooking and baking for the bed-and-breakfast. She said she thinks her oatmeal pancakes have been the favorite of guests so far.
“It’s a pancake that is made with oatmeal, whole wheat flour, buttermilk, and eggs,” Aardema said. “I tell people I’ll put something good on top of it but it’s also very healthy and will give you enough protein to keep you until lunch. I saute brown sugar and butter and melt that and then add slices of banana. It’s like bananas flambe but without the alcohol.”
Aardema said she enjoys making dinners for her guests, one of the special benefits of staying at the Broad Street Manor. Recently she made a duck with orange sauce and cointreau.
“That was very special. I’ve maybe done 10 ducks in my whole life, and this one was the best,” she said. “I also made a great salmon with a dill and caper sauce. That was my favorite.”
Neither Aardema nor McGregor have been trained in hotel management, but Aardema has won many baking contests and McGregor has studied with executive chefs and is a sommelier. Having a bed-and-breakfast is a comfortable and fun fit, as they enjoy cooking and entertaining, Aardema said.
“We have lots of dinner parties and big parties for as many as 50 people where we lived in the past. It’d be in May through October, we’d typically have outdoor parties,” Aardema said.
With her welcoming smile and her passion for cooking, Aardema is ready to welcome more guests to her new bed-and-breakfast. The Broad Street Manor is located at 19 South Broad St.