Mark and Donna Beverage bought a small ranch nestled in Union and restored it into a quaint country store and bed and breakfast in July of this year.
As third-generation ranchers they plan to show customers “down home hospitality in our 100-year-old Queen Anne bed and breakfast.”
The Beverages have a home in Cove where they raise cattle. They have put endless hours into readying the bed and breakfast/country store for guests, and it shows.
“We were looking for a way to market our farm products. When this property came along we thought it would be the perfect place,” Donna says in regards to opening the business.
They grew large gardens because they felt people wanted to get back to local products and buy local. They plan on having a greenhouse up and running next year for even more produce products.
The bed and breakfast, with four bedrooms and two baths upstairs, is settled on seven acres. The land is sprinkled with fruit trees, a large garden and a creek where, Donna says, “you can get out your fishing pole and relax.”
“We have had people stay from Denmark and the United Kingdom,” she says.
But local people can stay for a nice getaway or celebration, too.
“We had a couple from Summerville ride their bikes over, stay overnight and ride back the next day. They were able to relax, ride downtown for dinner, read a book without leaving the valley. We are hoping to attract more groups or families from our valley,” Donna says.
She says that people coming to Union County from out of the country are going on the Internet and seeing things about Union County, Baker City, Hells Canyon and events like the Train Excursion.
“The Denmark guests flew in and got off the plane in Seattle and then drove to Union on their way to Baker City because they saw a lot of things about the European Heritage in that area on the Internet. Their first stop was Baker and we were on the way,” Donna says.
“Out-of-towners are starting to learn about ‘the loop’, as you get off the highway at Hot Lake, Buffalo Peak Golf Course, Union Museum, Cove and all the places in-between.”
The only lodging in Union besides this bed and breakfast is the Union Hotel. When they are full they send people to the Beverages’ bed and breakfast.
The Beverages were both born and raised in Union. Donna grew up just west of Union and Mark grew up, uniquely, on Cove Road. They have been ranchers for the 34 years of their marriage.
“We are taking a big risk, because I quit my job to start this,” Donna says. “We think it will be fun and we can work together with our kids and grandkids on a family project, as well as meet a lot of people.”
The Beverages are working on linking with Anthony Lakes Ski Resort. The late Ben Francy was raised in the house and a couple of runs at Anthony are named after him, Upper Francy and Lower Francy Loop.
Joshua’s officially opened Aug. 1. The Beverages went to estate sales to fill the house with antiques and visited bed and breakfast’s for advice and ideas.
On Oct. 24, during Union’s Harvest Festival which includes a parade at noon and pumpkin chunkin’ at 1 p.m., Joshua’s will be busy with activity the whole day.
Starting at 10 a.m. and going until dusk there will be an antique vehicle cruise-in for anyone wanting to stop by.
At the same time there will be an all-day horseshoe tournament, just for fun. At 1 p.m. there will be a Dutch-oven demonstration and cookoff. Novices are encouraged to participate. At 3 p.m. the public can sample the Dutch oven-prepared food for $4 with proceeds going to the contestants.
The Beverages’ bed and breakfast, with four bedrooms and two baths upstairs, is located at 1598 N. Cove St. in Union. - Photos/AMBER GLAZE
A People’s Choice Award will be presented at 4 p.m., with the winner getting a free lunch for two at Joshua’s Country Store & Inn. For more information or to participate, call Donna at 541-786-1492.
There will also be old-time music to enjoy from 2 to 4 p.m. Espresso and baked goods will be available all day, and hamburgers, hot dogs and soup will be available after 11 a.m.
The Beverages keep the coffee shop, restaurant, gift and antique shop and produce market all open five days a week for patrons to shop and visit.
Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. A straw maze and pumpkin patch are available to children.
The owners serve up a hearty and healthy ranch breakfast to their overnight guests, with alternate dishes when requested.
Lunches will be served year-round, including a variety of sandwiches, salads and baked goods. The wintertime will offer soups. They also offer lunches or baked goods to-go for local meetings.
The area is available for outdoor weddings and small indoor weddings, family reunions, meetings, showers and other events. They can accommodate up to 10 guests at a time.
Guests can camp or park RVs as another option.
They sell fresh vegetables, fruit, decorative rocks, wood bundles, hay, straw and grassfed beef to the public. They raise Angus cross beef from birth to table. It is available by the half or the whole.