May 3, 2019

Preservation Personals: A Beautiful Bed-and-Breakfast in Central Iowa

  • By: Emma Sarappo
The exterior of the Edwards Swayze house in Nevada, Iowa.

photo by: Barbara Howard

I was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 thanks to my significant architectural and interior detailing.

If you want to say you’ve been to Nevada without all the hassle of heading out West, then come visit me. I’m just a few blocks from the central business district in Nevada, Iowa, and as the town’s beloved bed-and-breakfast, I’m a great host.

I was built in 1878 for a local merchant who moved away in 1890 after his firm closed. My next owners, the Swayzes, are said to have improved me extensively; when they sold me at the turn of the century, it was for $5,000 more than they purchased it.

I am, truly, a product of my time—I was built in a vernacular style, but I also have many the hallmarks of an American Queen Anne Victorian, which you can see in my roofscape and attic windows. I also have elements that reference earlier styles, like my window hoods and the stones that stripe my octagonal turret. My mix of styles helps make me so charming, and I’ve happily brought them with me into the 21st century.

A large part of my 21st century has been life as a B&B. In 1989, my former owners ran me as one for four and a half years until health issues forced them to close. They sold me to my current owners, the Howards, who reopened the rooms in November of 2013. I'm cozy, as you can see, but I'm spacious, too: I have six bedrooms for rent and I can accommodate up to 12 people at once. If that sounds good to you, wait until you hear this: If you buy me, I’ll come with all the linens, furniture, dishes, and training you’ll need to keep running the business.

Ready to jump into life as the owner of a beautiful B&B? See my listing here. Looking for something a bit more private? See our other historic real estate listings here.

Stained glass windows above the staircase in the Edwards Swayze house.

photo by: Barbara Howard

My stained-glass windows start at the landing of my main staircase and are capped by round arches.

One of the rooms inside the Edwards Swayze house in Nevada, Iowa.

photo by: Barbara Howard

My lodgings are popular among wedding parties, Iowa State University parents, and people just passing through town.

Emma Sarappo is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. She can be found writing or in the kitchen of her century-old DC rowhouse.

Announcing the 2019 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

See the List