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June 29, 2011

Tipton County homestead converted to bed & breakfast

Tipton — TIPTON — When a father passed away in 2010, his children didn’t want to sell his farmhouse and 120 acres in Tipton County. It had been in the family for 147 years.

So, the children of Joe and Eunice Off restored the family homestead and created the Off Farmhouse Bed & Breakfast.

Their great-great-grandfather Jacob Off settled in Tipton County in 1864, starting a sawmill in Jackson Station and purchasing 400 acres.

The house was built in 1902 by their great-grandparents Oscar and Mary Off. Their grandfather Herbert lived in the house until 1992.

In 1995, Joe and Eunice moved in.

Cheryl Orr, Carol Powell and Phillip Off inherited the property. Not wanting to part with the family homestead, they restored the farmhouse and outbuildings located on Ind. 19, just north of Tipton.

The siblings sold all the household furnishings. When they decided to open the bed and breakfast, the search began for furniture that would have been comparable to what was used in 1902.

“We used to come here to visit our grandparents,” Powell said.

Phillip Off said the siblings never went up to the second floor of the farmhouse, which was used mainly for storage.

The conversion to a bed and breakfast started in October 2010. The first step was to obtain the proper zoning.

“We didn’t want to change the layout of the house,” Off said.

He said the house contains the original kitchen cabinets and woodwork, much of which was made from wood felled on the property and converted into boards at the family-owned sawmill.

Orr said the bed and breakfast opened in May with a “Ladies Night Out” with the right group of local women to get the word out.

One of the siblings stays overnight in the farmhouse when there are guests, which is a requirement of Tipton County.

Just as in 1902, there are no televisions in the house, although the plan is to add Internet service when it becomes available.

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