25 Random Things about the Thomas Shepherd Inn and its Innkeepers

With a nod to Facebook…

1. It’s a bit weird to write things about an inanimate object like the Inn. But it does have facts, and history, and little eccentricities, so I think it will work out okay. Plus there are the innkeepers’ quirks.

2. The fireplace in the living room is placed off-center on the wall. Like all things asymmetrical, it is more interesting that way.

3. No job in Jeanne’s previous life gave her specific skills for owning a B&B. She was never even a waitress. She can’t carry more than two plates at a time.

4. Jim, however, did spend some summers working at a motel in Ocean City, NJ, sweeping, carrying sheets, and bellhopping for guests.

5. The Inn will celebrate its 25th birthday as a bed and breakfast on August 24, 2009. We have a dollar bill from the first guest, given to us by the Ringoots.

6. Several prints in the Inn were done by a local artist, Leon Benadom, in the mid-1980s, of local scenes like German Street and Harpers Ferry. We don’t know where Leon is now.

ETA: We have heard from Leon who has retired to Florida. He emailed us but I lost his email in a tragic computer disk failure. Leon, if you ever read this again, please email us again!

7. Jeanne and Jim lived in Boston and Manhattan before buying the Inn and moving to Shepherdstown in September of 2002. There are so many things to do in town that we rarely miss city life.

8. The Inn was a doctor’s office from the 1930s to the 1980s. Several guests were patients of the resident doctors at one time.

9. We don’t receive mail delivery at the Inn. Everyone in Shepherdstown must go to the Post Office to collect their mail.

10. Lots of people ask why there isn’t a traffic light on our corner instead of the 4-way stop sign. There used to be a light but there were lots of accidents then; when the town went back to the 4-way stop sign, there are very few accidents.

11. Dr. Elizabeth McFetridge, who owned the house with her husband Dr. Wanger, was a woman ahead of her time. She became a doctor and she kept her maiden name – in the 1930s, it was rare for a woman to do either.

12. A favorite guest hangout is the back porch on the second floor off the library. It stays cool from the tall evergreens in the back yard.

13. Jeanne likes to cook but she’s not crazy about baking. Some of our baked goods come from local bakeries. However, she makes a spice biscotti that she’s very proud of and serves it with the early coffee service.

14. Several of the windows in the front of the Inn (the 1868-built portion) still have the original wavy glass panes.

15. The room that is now the smaller of the two dining rooms was originally the kitchen of the house. The kitchen was relocated to the back when the house was made into a bed and breakfast.

16. The straw hat atop the corner cabinet in the living room belonged to Dr. Wanger’s father, who lived at the Inn and oversaw the building of the extended back of the house.

17. One of our favorite things to do in Shepherdstown is go to the movies. We have a little independent movie theater with cool small-budget films, wine/beer and popcorn with real butter. Jim will watch anything if he can have a beer and popcorn.

18. The big glass-paned cabinets in the upstairs library are the only pieces of furniture that were here when the doctors owned the place. They are extremely heavy and will never be moved.

19. In our laundry area of the basement, we have several Ironrite mangle irons, which we use for ironing linens. Well, we only use one at a time, but we have several for backup and spare parts. They stopped making these almost 50 years ago.

20. Most of the red-and-white toile items in Room 1 came from Ebay. Jeanne had a good time shopping for them the first year we owned the Inn.

21. Dr. McFetridge made the tatted lace sidelight panels at the door in the front hallway. She was pregnant with son Alex at the time.

22. The bathrooms in Rooms 5 and 6 were installed by the doctors. All the other bathrooms were added by the Ringoots when the refurbishing was done for the B&B. One bathroom was taken out, from the front hallway upstairs.

23. Innkeeping is hard on the back and the knees. We feel our age after a busy weekend at the Inn.

24. There is a repaired crack in the door to Room 1. We have been told it happened after one of the sons, Bill Wanger, got mad at his brother Alex and punched the door. This could be an urban legend, though.

25. One of the previous owners was told there was a spirit who lived in the Inn. We don’t have any solid evidence of a ghost, but there have been a few unexplained occurences here. Ask us about them if you’d like more details.

Jeanne & Jim at the
Thomas Shepherd Inn B&B in Shepherdstown, WV

4 thoughts on “25 Random Things about the Thomas Shepherd Inn and its Innkeepers

  1. Martha – we have glass-paned cabinets in our library upstairs which are the only pieces of furniture in the Inn from the McFetridge/Wanger family. They may be the same ones – I'll have to get Alex Wanger to come around and check them out.

  2. You live in Shepherdstown and have only one ghost!!!??? Why are the spirits wary of your building??? LOL Could it be your spirit is antisocial with other spirits? LOL

    Best; Wilson from Lancaster County Pa.

    P.S. Wife Lucy and I shall visit with you this Thursday and shall wish to hear more of your resident spirit manifestations!

  3. On a similar subject; I have done a brief research online and have noted many hits concerning spiritual activity in your town. I am of the opinion many spirits linger there after dying from Civil War injuries. Have you any other theories? Wilson

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