Back when we were in the planning stages of the bed and breakfast, we needed a way to name or number the bedrooms. Mary’s room had a name on it from the previous owners. Their daughters’ name is Mary and as is my mom. So, it made sense for us to use either our mom or a grandma names for the rooms.
Of the four women that we chose, only my mom, Mary Sternhagen is still alive. She married my dad, Bill, in 1953 and they had 5 children, 11 grandchildren, and 7 great grandchildren. They lived their entire married life in Scotland, SD.
Her life has never been easy, with many hurdles along the way. She was born near Beresford, SD in 1933 to Arnold and Catherine Bickett. She was 3rd of 11 children, so she was responsible for many chores growing up. When she was a sophomore, her family made a major move to Howard, SD.
With the guidance she gained from her family, she raised her own through many highs and lows. She and Bill owned and operated a dry cleaners. Plus, she worked nights and weekends at a local bar to make ends meet.
Then, my parents ran a bed and breakfast in the 1990’s. From them, I had the idea that we could run our own bed and breakfast. In some ways, the Hydeout is similar to theirs. They both have 4 rooms upstairs with a shared bathroom. The biggest difference is that we do have other bathrooms available for guests.
During the week, she served a soup and sandwich buffet. This was the beginning of her catering business. Her entire life, she has been a cook. Many people have enjoyed her wonderful food. I feel blessed to have inherited this skill from her.
After my dad’s death in 1996, my mom moved out to Belle Fourche to be near some of her grandchildren. Of course, she found a job as a prep cook and continued working until she was 80.
All of this help to inspire me with our bed and breakfast. Definitely, some of the things I do, are from my mom. She had a towel rack in each room, which ours is similarly designed. And her rooms each had a theme as do ours.
Our themes are about each person, from whom it is named after. It was easiest for Mary’s room. After all, she is still alive and I can acquire things from her. Years ago, she had given me a picture and a few hearts. These had hung in her bed and breakfast. There are several shelves, which now display family pictures. She loves angels, so there are a few of them around too.
A brown bottle is a remembrance to our favorite story from her. Mom used to mask with friends for annual masquerade ball. One year, she and a friend were dresses as hobos and used a brown bottle from the dry cleaners. Well, it still had some chemical fumes in it and it made them “higher than a kite”. The grandchildren loves to heher tell the tale of that night.
We hope that our guests feel the comfort and love from our cozy, little, Mary’’s room. It represents a very warm and wonderful woman, who helped form the person I am.