Your Innkeeper

Longevity runs in the family for Maggie Foote,
innkeeper at Oaklawn.

Growing up in Poplar, WI.  Her early memories of great-grandparents and treasured time spent with grandparents contributed to her interest in “old stuff.”

A 1974 graduate of UW-Stout, Maggie returned to Menomonie in 1985 to serve as the executive director of the Mabel Tainter Memorial.  It was during that time that she was introduced to Oaklawn Stockfarm.   In 1992 she moved to the State:Regional Arts Center, Eau Claire where she was the executive director of a 1926 historic theatre and performing arts center.  A fortune cookie may have predicted the future.  Shortly before she and her then-partner Les, made an offer to purchase Oaklawn, the tiny slip of paper foretold “be careful what you wish for.”   They closed on the house in January of 1997 and began the task of reviving the grand old Victorian farmhouse.

Oaklawn had not been occupied for over a year.  The new owners spent evenings and weekends stripping wallpaper, refinishing floors, scraping, repairing and painting the exterior and getting the house ready for guests.  To meet modern expectations three bathrooms were added to allow for each guest room to have its own bath.  Maggie left the arts center in 1999 to devote full attention to the B&B.

The first guests were welcomed to Oaklawn Bed & Breakfast in April of 1998.

Today, Maggie continues to welcome and offer gracious hospitality to guests. Some guests return several times each year.  Hugs are exchanged as well as stories of family, jobs and life experiences.  In between guests, Maggie finds time to travel, including a trip to China in fall of 2010.  Calling it her “sabbatical,” she’s now enjoying some redecorating and repurposing of rooms and furnishings.

Named the Wisconsin Home Based Business Champion of 2007 by the US Small Business Administration. The balance of history and hospitality plays nicely with the fast-paced challenges of writing, editing, ever-changing technology, creative communications and social media.