By-Way Guest House – August 2015 Chamber Member Spotlight #2

The By-Way Guest House in Ord is approaching their 15 year anniversary; however the Guest House was not the first entrepreneurial venture of owner Elinor Koelling. Elinor’s first business was her creation of Superbly Done, one of the first, if not the first, catalogue based companies in Nebraska, featuring Nebraska products and artisans. Her store front was located in downtown Ord where Blanquita’s Mexican Restaurant is currently located. Along with assisting her husband on the family farm and ranch, she also raised purebred German Shepherds and tracked their pedigrees.Byway Guest House Front Entrance

In 2001, Elinor recognized a great need for additional lodging in the area with the beginning of the Comstock Windmill Festival and other regional events. They begin renovations to a home, located at 1621 N Street, which was passed down to Elinor from her parents. The home was built in 1900 by Charles Milford, a local merchant. The renovations revealed several interesting characteristics of the home including the fact that it was a mail-order catalogue home from Sears and Roebuck and the spaces in between the walls were filled with bricks. The spacious layout was ideal for a lodging facility as well as the location, being within walking distance from downtown Ord.

The By-Way Guest House gained its name from Elinor’s work with the Loup River Scenic Byway and passion for tourism activity in our community. The guest house features two stories and a finished basement filled with inviting and comfortable furnishings, outdoor living space and a full kitchen. The history and charm are maintained throughout the house with the original bath fixtures and claw foot tub as well as themed rooms. The guest house provides a great space for family gatherings and celebrations including the 60’x40’ party tent which can be set up on the east side of the house for additional options for outdoor entertainment.

When asked about the importance of buying locally and supporting the local community, Elinor responded, “I try to buy everything at home.” Whether it’s contractors for improvement to her facility or groceries for the breakfast items she stocks for guests, buying locally and supporting her local community is a priority for Elinor.

Byway Dining Room Claw Foot Tub

You can learn more about the architectural history of the home and By-Way Guest House offerings by visiting their website. If you are visiting the Ord area for a family reunion, wedding or community event, you can make reservations by calling Elinor at (308) 728-5268.

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