Got your Valentine’s gift idea all planned out? Roses, wine, jewelry? A trip, an experience? You can’t go wrong with any of those things, but you might want to think romantic getaway and it doesn’t get much more romantic than a stay at the Beall House. While I admit that my stop was a tour rather than an overnight, I saw enough to realize how nice an overnight would be!
The beautiful Beall Mansion has been on my list for quite some time to tour. This past Monday, I toured with my mom, Lori Disque and good friend Annie Jansen. The owners of the mansion Sandy and Jim Belote have spent countless hours working on the mansion restoring it to its original beauty. After calling ahead to make arrangement, I made an appointment for a tour!
The Belote’s purchased the mansion in 1996 and opened it for business in the middle of 1998. “It has been undergoing fulltime construction for the last 20 years,” Jim said.
Details of the history of the mansion will be in an upcoming issue of the Prairieland Buzz., but a quick synopsis is that the house history is that it was a wedding present from the railroad tycoon Z.B. Job to his son, Z.B. Jr. and his wife Mary Drummond. The house was built by famous architect Lucas Pfeiffenbeger who designed the 3-story 10,000 square- foot stunner. The architect created newel posts unique to each home and each downstairs room is created in its own special type of wood.
The Belote’s have decorated to the period and the home is lovely. Seven years after the home was built, Mary Job sold it to Edmond Beall who was a successful industrialist and politician. He is famous for paving the streets of Alton!
The home boasts 12- foot rounded coved ceilings and throughout the house no two fireplaces are alike. Aside from the Jacuzzi tubs, the house remains much as it was with crystal chandeliers, Greco-Roman statuary, Persian carpets and a lovely box grand piano in the entry way music room that belonged to the second owner Edmond Beall.
When the Belote’s purchased the home, there was some crazy shag carpets and underneath they found the original wood floors. Several flooring companies advised to tear the floors out, but thankfully they found an elderly gentleman that had been restoring floors for years. This artist brought the floors back to their original beauty. The house is decorated with a bronze Samurai warrior, a statue of Joan of Arc and cinnabar chests from Japan. Mansion windows are adorned with lovely beveled and polished glass. and everywhere you look there is another treasure to view.
Jim Belote took us on a wonderful tour sharing the history of the home and pointing out the things that made this home so special. “This is a romantic place,” Jim said showing us the lovely bedrooms which feature a whirlpool for two. The rooms have all the old -fashioned amenities and charm of the original home with the modern necessities.
Breakfast choices can be a simple self serve continental, or a full serve breakfast and the cost of the stay will reflect that choice. For honeymooners, they can even have breakfast in bed should they choose. Come stay, or come tour! Located at 407 E.12th St., Alton, Illinois, call 618-474-9100 for details.
If you haven’t selected a special Valentine’s Day present, think of booking an overnight, or taking your beloved to Alton for a tour then lunch. The home is beautiful and Jim is passionate about this home that he has spent so much time restoring. When the March issue of the Prairieland Buzz comes out be sure to read all about the history of those that once lived in this fascinating place!