History of Our Southeast Missouri Bed & Breakfast
The Old Caledonian Bed & Breakfast resides in the grand Ruggles-Evans-Dent House, built in 1849 in the quaint Village of Caledonia, Missouri. Listed on the United States Register of Historic Places, the home was built by Elijah Starr Ruggles, son of Martin Ruggles, one of the founders of the Springfield Lead Furnace near Caledonia. Ruggles sold the home to James S. Evans in 1853; the Evans family sold it to W. J. Dent, a banker and relative of Julia Dent Grant, wife of Ulysses S. Grant, in 1911. This beautiful Greek Revival-style mansion still contains original stairways, features, quarters, and woodwork (hewn from walnut trees cut and milled on the property) from when the house was originally built.
As you enter the Old Caledonian Bed & Breakfast to check in, you will find yourself in the keeping room, which still boasts an enormous and original cooking hearth, as well as country-home finishes and an original mural by the artisans of famed local potters, Chanticleer.
As you walk past the kitchen into the main parlor and dining room, you will be awed by the elegance and glory of the walnut arches, the stately furniture, and the graceful ambience. This is where we serve breakfast each morning, hold tea service in the afternoons, and occasionally host special events such as historical lectures, musical performances, and fancy dinners. Be sure to stop and reflect on Caledonia’s history and ancestors by viewing the original photographs of founders and landmarks in the house’s former receiving area.
Ascend the antique staircase, with its switchbacks and gentle creaks, to the main guest room area, where each room is named and themed with attention to Caledonia’s tradition and history.
The four acres of the Old Caledonian Bed & Breakfast’s grounds are a marvelous, quiet retreat from life’s hustle and bustle. Winding pathways gently work their way through the wooded areas along a softly running creek, past wood-hewn benches, and a stone fire pit. Our relaxing gazebo, nestled next to the peaceful koi pond, and the secluded brick patio in the back make for a perfect getaway. or simply walk across the street to experience the charm, food, history, and friendliness that the Village of Caledonia has to offer.