The Shakespeare Chateau Inn and Gardens in St. Joseph is a mansion with five individually styled rooms furnished with antiques and other vintage decor.

Each room has a queen-sized bed and its own bathroom where tubs are equipped with jets and the showers are Euro-spa style.

The mansion was originally built in 1855, when St. Joseph was known as the “Queen of River Cities.”

Isobel McGowan bought the property about eight years ago while in St. Joseph on a business trip. It was listed as a distressed property at the time, and she decided to restore it.

“I felt that it would be a great retirement project,” she said.

The mansion was littered with water damage and holes and needed updated electrical wiring. A major restoration resulted in upgrades suitable for an elegant bed-and-breakfast, including the preservation of 47 stained glass windows.

The inn has had plenty of notable guests, from Pulitzer-prize winning historian and biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin to opera singer Max Emanuel Cencic.

It has also become a popular destination in St. Joseph during community events, such as the Apple Blossom Festival and the Kansas City Chiefs’ training camp.

McGowan said the chateau gets plenty of attention as its own destination and is a popular venue for weddings, baby showers and luncheons.

Although there are still ongoing restoration projects at the inn, it is a memorable and lovely sight in St. Joseph’s historic district known as “Millionaires Row.” McGowan said it has to be visited to be really appreciated.

“The pictures just don’t do it justice,” she said.

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