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Inn-side The Area's Bed And Breakfasts (Video)

The South Kingstown Chamber of Commerce hosted a trolley ride Tuesday that rode through the history of local bed and breakfasts.

Possible rain showers didn't stop nearly 30 participants from climbing onto a trolley for the Bed & Breakfast Tour on Tuesday afternoon. 

The South Kingstown Chamber of Commerce and Southern Rhode Island Trolley sponsored the tour, which included eight stops at properties in South Kingstown and Narragansett.

South Kingstown Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joe Iacoi said the event was put on to help people become aware of the inns and bed and breakfasts in the area. 

"We want to extend our welcome and thanks to current and new members of the chamber of commerce," Iacoi said. "We also want to show prospective members, what we offer here in South Kingstown."

The first stop, , on Matunuck Beach Road in South Kingstown, was built in 1898 by George Champlin and his wife Etta Jane Tucker. 

"They were two very big names in South County at the time," said current owner, Joan LeBel. 

Champlin and his wife operated the 15 bedroom establishment, "The Dewey Cottage," until 1939. In 1988, LeBel bought and restored the neglected building and it became the 10 bedroom inn which it remains today.

It is on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Included in the tour was Meyer House, an "eco-friendly" two room bed and breakfast located on Matunuck School House Road in Wakefield.

Built in 1985 and turned into a bed and breakfast one year ago, owner Heather Meyer prides herself on keeping her carbon footprint as small as possible. Not only does she partially heat the building with wood, but her water is heated by solar energy and she composts and recycles. 

"I shop locally; I use produce from local farmers if I don't grow it in my own garden and I only buy meat from people who raise it," Meyer said. "I use cloth napkins and very little disposable things and I try to use only non-toxic cleaning materials." 

Also included in the tour was Eden Manor. Built in 1840 and located on Post Road in Wakefield, it is one of the largest bed and breakfasts in the area. At one point in it's history, the building and property was a dairy farm and it also served as a nursing home for 30 years. 

Owners Lloyd and Bernadette Eden run the establishment with the help of their children and have hosted guests from all over the globe. 

"We have so enjoyed having this place even though its a lot of work," Bernadette Eden said. "My kids have talked to people from all different cultures and walks of life and thats one of the perks of having a bed and breakfast."

David Wilson June 17, 2011 at 11:06 AM
What a great day. South County has a special resource that needs to be promoted. I was impressed with the warm welcome provided by the B&B's. and would not hesitate to recommend any of the places we visited.
susan Russo June 17, 2011 at 03:53 PM
I grew up (summers) in Matunuck and remember the Dewey Inn when it was storage for Hollys Market.. Fast forward a few years, and back to Matunuck where my husband and I spent our 25th anniversary at "The Dewey". Joan did an incredible restoration of the inn that had been let go to the elements for so very many years and turned it into a great place to stay with wonderful breakfasts and meeting people from many walks of life....

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