The Mansion at Elfindale Bed & Breakfast in Springfield has been a place for friends and families to get together for at least 30 years.
The elegant limestone mansion was the vision of Mary Alice Clymena O’Day, the wife of a multimillionaire who had the 27,000-square-foot home built around 1901 after a messy divorce.
In 1906, she sold the 35-room mansion to an order of cloistered nuns who built a convent on the property and ran Elfindale first as a girls’ school and then as a retreat center. The convent closed in 1978.
The Mansion at Elfindale began operating as a bed-and-breakfast inn in 1990 after a church partnered with a group of developers to buy it.
Myra Skyles, the manager of the mansion, says it is quiet, and visitors often feel as if they have had a rustic experience within an urban setting.
“The mansion has a European feel about it, so locals can drive about 10 miles and feel like they’ve left the country,” Skyles said. “We’re near a wooded area, so you can feel like you’re out in the country but just four blocks away from the Bass Pro Shop.”
Positioned near Bass Pro’s Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium, as well as a number of hiking trails, the inn has 13 Victorian-style suites to choose from.
These suites also feature turn-of-the-century furnishings. Each suite has a private bath with a clawfoot tub and wireless internet.
In addition to the bedrooms, the mansion has four public rooms, including the parlor, the dining room, the Fireside Room and the Dolphin Room. The Dolphin Room has a fireplace mantle bought during the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair that was imported from France.
All public rooms are available for meetings, banquets, luncheons, showers, weddings and receptions. The adjacent chapel is also used extensively for weddings.