• Last modified 1138 days ago (June 10, 2021)


Homes offer modern convenience, country peace and quiet

Staff writer

If you are looking for a quick getaway or a quiet weekend vacation owner of Marion County rental properties hope to meet your needs.

Operators of several renovated vacation rentals have included modern conveniences on estates with country peace and quiet.

But be sure to book in advance.

The newest, Middle Creek Ranch on the edge of the Flint Hills has been booked every weekend since Lisa Donahue listed it.

She already has a booking for next summer.

The Donahues remodeled the 120-year-old ranch house to keep it from falling apart. In 1958, it was Hillsboro mayor Lou Thurston’s first childhood home.

Donahue’s in-laws bought the ranch in 1992 from Kenmore Ranch. Her son, Andrew, and husband, Tim, now run an 800-head cow-calf operation on the 2,000 acre- property.

She decorated and furnished the house herself. Most of the antiques are from Henry’s Chase Furniture Store in Halstead.

“I had a lot of fun with it,” she said. “We weren’t in a hurry so we just did it in six months.”

Floors were refinished in upstairs bedrooms, which feature a soft, blue color scheme.

“I have always loved blue,” Donahue said. “So just kind of went with the navy and white and went from there.”

Cable and WiFi are available, and there is good fishing in a nearby creek.

Donahue is happy to see guests enjoy the place.

“My husband loves history and he hated to see the house fall apart, which is what was happening,” she said.

A secluded getaway

North Shore Guesthouse, operated by Charlie and Lynn Unruh since 2004, has become popular with fisherman and hunters.

Bookings of the three-bedroom home at 1475 240th Rd. are going strong this year as people seek ways to get outside.

“A lot of people want to get out in the country and hear the birds sing,” Lynn Unruh said. “That’s been our selling point — to get away from everything, unplug, and relax.”

Running a vacation rental has been work, but it also has been a good time, she said.

Families that book the property to celebrate anniversaries, reunions and other milestone are a favorite.

“They bring their own happiness with them, either to celebrate something or to get away from everything,” she said. “It is a pleasure to have them.”

Last modified June 10, 2021