The Troy-Bumpas Inn bed and breakfast was featured in the Life section of the Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 issue of the Greensboro News & Record. Several of our wonderful guests agreed to be interviewed and photographed. (Thank you!!) Below are thumbnail snapshots of the article; the text of the article follows.
Back in Business
The historic Troy-Bumpas Inn reopens as a bed and breakfast
By Robert C. Lopez, Staff Writer
The house at 114 S. Mendenhall St. has hosted Civil War soldiers, housed college students and, these days, gives travelers a taste of the area’s history, along with place to bed down for the night with a hearty breakfast in the morning.
Judy and Larry Horn reopened the Troy-Bumpas Inn in November, taking it over from Andrea and John Wimmer who had operated it for seven years (but closed it in 2010).
“A lot of people have a dream that they’d like to have their own business or run their own company, and in a sense, that’s what we’re doing here,” said Larry Horn, a former sales director for an environmental lab. “That was definitely an attraction, being able to work for yourself.”
“We like living in older homes and all the little quirks you don’t get in modern buildings,” said Judy Horn, who used to work for a community college. “And this gives you an opportunity to live in a wonderful home and share it with other people. And of course, running it as a bed and breakfast helps defray a lot of the costs that come with living in an older home.”
The Horns, who moved to Greensboro from the Chicago suburbs last fall, live on the third floor of the Greek Revival house. The second floor serves as guest quarters and had three bedrooms, and the first floor includes a dining room, living room and office.
The Rev. Sidney Bumpass (the family later dropped the second ‘s’ in their name) built the house in 1847, shortly after arriving in Greensboro to become a presiding elder of the Methodist district.
He published a religious newsletter call The Weekly Message out of the home and was one of the original trustees of Greensboro College (then Methodist Female College) which sat adjacent to his property.
In 1851, he and his son contracted typhoid and died within a few days of each other. His wife, Frances, continued publishing the newsletter and ran an elementary school out of the house.
After the Civil War, Union troops set up their western Greensboro headquarters here, but at the insistence of Frances Bumpass, slept in an apple orchard behind the home.
Frances Bumpass’ daughters Eugenia and Duella inherited the home after she died in 1898. The house underwent at least two big renovations through the years, including one major expansion in 1911 with the intent of turning the place into a boarding house.
Duella’s daughters Ethel and Nina Troy were the last family members to live in the home. When Ethel died in 1975, she left the dwelling to Greensboro College, which turned it into student housing. The school sold the building in the early 1990s, and it was converted into a bed and breakfast-style inn.
The Horn’s used to travel quite a bit for work, and about 20 years ago, they started staying in bed and breakfasts.
“You get more personalized service at a B&B,” Larry Horn said. “You know the people who are running it. It’s more open, inviting.”
“And I liked that they weren’t your standard cookie-cutter rooms,” Judy Horn said. “You definitely feel like you’re more in a home than you are in a hotel.”
The two long toyed with the notion or running a bed and breakfast themselves but decided to wait until they had put their kids through college and retired. They began searching in earnest for a place about a year ago and visited properties in Missouri and Kentucky before hearing about the Troy-Bumpas.
“We liked the fact that it looked like we could managed it ourselves, and we wouldn’t have to hire any additional staff,” Judy Horn said. “It was the right size for us. And we liked that we would be able to have our living quarters there on the third floor.”
“This is a beautiful area,” Larry Horn said. “And because we’re from a big city, we wanted to be in a city. Greensboro kind of fits the bill. And it was nice for use to be able to get downtown in a few minutes. We came in and just felt it was perfect and fell in love with it.”
They moved in during October. The couple said they hope to offer some murder-mystery weekends in the future and plan to plant some gardens in the spring. They’re repainted the living to make it lighter and upgraded the bathrooms, but other than that, they haven’t made any major changes.
The Horns are usually up by about 7:30 a.m. to make breakfast. On this day, French toast, sausages, and a fruit parfait are on the menu.
Pam and Allan Dorfman of Toronto are the guests. They are headed toward Savannah, Ga., and stopped in Greensboro to check out the area’s furniture stores.
“We used to do the hotel circuit but then decided to try a B&B,” Allan Dorfman said. “They tend to have a lot more personality and are able to give you a bit of history on where you’re staying. And it’s nice to have somebody welcome you.”
Guests are encouraged to explore the house and mingle with the other occupants.
“A lot of people who come here are B&B regulars,” Judy Horn said. “One thing that they thoroughly enjoy is the opportunity to interact with the innkeepers. And if other guests are also in the house at the same time, you get to interact, certainly a breakfast and perhaps at other times of the day. Most people who stay at bed and breakfasts see that as an attraction.”
(Contact Robert C. Lopez at 336-691-5091 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Photos by Nelson Kepley, News & Record. Captions on the photos:
1) The Troy-Bumpas Inn on South Mendenhall Street in Greensboro started as a family home, then became student housing, then a bed and breakfast. It was building in 1847.
2) Judy and Larry Horn reopened the inn in November. It had been closed since 2010.
3) The Nina Suite is one of three guest rooms in the Troy-Bumpas Inn.
4) Judy Horn (left) talks with Janice and Chris Toshach of Memphis, Tenn., during their stay at the Troy-Bumpas Inn.
5) Guests are encouraged to mingle with each other and explore the inn, which includes a living room with plenty of seating and a fireplace.
6) The Allah Room features floral motifs in its furnishings and paintings.