David and Lu Ann Mansfield have always loved the Greene Gables Inn in White Hall, Illinois. If you’ve ever driven down Main Street through the town, you’re sure to have seen the beautiful white house and picket fence that many hold close to their hearts. The Mansfields recently purchased the Inn from the Price family and are currently working to re-open the Inn’s doors after they had closed about two years ago. They’re looking forward to seeing its rooms and grounds again filled with guests and visitors.
Lu Ann, a Kindergarten teacher two years shy of retirement at North Greene, had worked with the previous Innkeepers by assisting with luncheons via her catering experience over the past three years. She was no stranger to the Inn, and was sad to hear it would be closing. But when the opportunity to purchase arose, she and her husband jumped at the chance. Both natives of Greene County, Lu Ann and David had to have this local treasure.
David, a farmer by trade, shared that his father always told him to have diversity in the things he did in life. “He was probably reflecting on the farm aspect—you know, diversify with cows, pigs, etc. But I gave up on that and now the Inn is my diversity,” he said.
For the past several months, the family has been refurnishing the Inn with furniture found at antique malls, crafted by Greene Prairie Woodworkers, and through Three French Hens, an interior design firm out of Wildwood, Missouri. The target date for re-opening is March 1st, so they are working tirelessly at this point while balancing their normal work routines.
“We love everything about the place, so we don’t want to change much,” Lu Ann said. “It’s all recently been redone, so aside from some painting and refurnishing, it won’t be too different.” The Inn will still feature its beloved outdoor features like the Esther Williams style swimming pool, pavilion, gazebo, and bar area.
Indoors, they will be adding one new feature: a bridal room. This room, which features a beautiful light pink Italian chandelier, will be a special place for brides and their bridal party to get ready for the big day.
Lyn, one of the Mansfields’ daughters, serves as the business manager/event planner and has already scheduled several weddings for the upcoming season. She’s also helped coordinate upgraded technology at the Inn—new televisions in the rooms, a smart TV for computer-aided business meetings, and more.
“There’s more than meets the eye here,” Lu Ann said of Greene Gables. “We’re only an hour away from so many things: St. Louis, Springfield, Hannibal, about 40 minutes to Grafton—if you want to see the Midwest, Green Gables is the place to be.”
So far, even without any paid advertisement, the calendar at Greene Gables is filling up for gatherings large and small—not to mention guests looking forward to an overnight stay. With six bedrooms, space for 350 outdoors, and cozy spaces for 15-30 indoors, there are many opportunities to visit the Inn.