Blueberry Inn the focus of this week’s Dart
Published 7:00 am Friday, March 6, 2015
The Blueberry Inn has a deep rooted history in Poplarville.
Since its establishment in 1905, the home housed various tenants, from the Carver family in 1916 all the way to its present owner Myra Jeanfreau-Sharp. Over the years, the house has served as a private residence, a rooming house and now a bed and breakfast, according to Poplarville Historical Preservation Society President Joan Bassett.
The historic home, along with several others in Poplarville, will be spotlighted in the society’s upcoming driving tour, Bassett said.
“We plan to provide a sight-seeing tour of the city’s historical homes,” Bassett said. “Most of the homes currently have wrought iron markers in the front yard, which are painted with the home’s name, the year it was built, and the names of the current owners.”
Sharp, owner of the Blueberry Inn, is proud to call the more than 100-year-old house her own. In 1995, she purchased the home with hopes of turning it into a bed and breakfast. At the time, Sharp was a registered nurse at St. Tammany Hospital in Louisiana and a mother of five without any prior bed and breakfast experience; but she didn’t let that stop her.
“I liked the idea of helping people and I had always wanted to own an inn someday,” Sharp said.
When asked how she discovered the home, Sharp said she would often visit Poplarville to get a haircut. During one of her visits, she noticed the house was up for sale.
“So I thought about it for two years, and then one day I was inspired to purchase it,” she said.
From then on, Sharp, along with the help of family and professionals, renovated the old home to become what it is today, the Blueberry Inn.
“I was still working as a nurse during that time, and the days I had off, I would work on the renovations,” Sharp said.
But the renovations were hard work, she said.
“The house had eight coal-burning fireplaces, so everything between the floors, the staircase and the doors were covered in black coating,” Sharp said. “It took my friend’s mother’s water-based solution to clean the house.”
The second floor of the house also had no electrical outlets, plumbing or central air conditioning.
“It was like 1910 up there,” she said.
After several renovations, Sharp welcomed her first guests in 1997, which included several of her co-workers.
“They were my guinea pigs,” Sharp said.
Since then, Sharp has renovated the entire first floor and managed to preserve the home’s historic charm.
“The fireplaces are all original, including several doors of the house,” she said. “And I kept the original bathtub in the main bathroom, which is said to be the first indoor bathtub in Poplarville.”
Several of the inn’s furniture pieces are almost as old as the house.
“The dining room table was made in 1910, and is one of two produced at the time,” Sharp said. “There are also several stained glass windows around the house, which were taken from old church buildings.”
Since owning the inn, Sharp said she’s welcomed many guests.
“I’ve met so many neat and interesting people,” she said. “We get a lot of couples, people who are guest speaking at the college and we’ve even done two small weddings here.”
Currently, Sharp and her husband are working on the last renovation projects on the second floor of the seven bed and four and a half bath house. They hope to be done in time for Christmas.
“It’s hard work, but I thank God everyday for guiding me,” she said.
For more information about the inn, visit http://www.blueberryinn.co.