WICHITA — When Becky and Brent Miller bought their historic 1914 bungalow in Delano five years ago, they didn’t realize they were buying a business in addition to a home.
That’s what it’s turning into, though.
“We really believe that there’s a lot of energy in Delano,” Becky Miller says. “We just think it’s a really fun, up-and-coming old part of the city that will have it’s due in due time.
“There’s a lot of history there.”
There’s a lot of history in her house, too, she says.
“I’ve done a lot of research.”
Miller says the house was built for one of the Schollenberger brothers who brought the first exclusively gas-powered automobiles to Wichita with the Wichita Automobile Co. in 1901, the first repair shop in 1902 and the city’s first gas station in 1908.
The Good family were the next occupants, Miller says.
“Dr. Good practiced right out of the house,” she says of the physician.
The house was left to St. Joseph Parish, which sold it to the Millers.
“We’ve been renovating it from day one,” Miller says. She left the closing and “came over here and started ripping out the carpet.”
There was much more than that to rip out.
“They had flocked wallpaper, for heaven’s sake,” Miller says. “We peeled layers and layers off everywhere. It was awful.”
Miller had been in traveling sales nationally for 32 years and wanted to find something to do closer to home.
She started making jewelry but needed to do something else as well.
That’s what led to the bed and breakfast.
Miller considers herself something of a hotel expert.
“I’ve stayed in the Super 8s and the Hiltons and everything in between,” she says. “I know what people like.”
She and her husband have moved their living quarters upstairs.
There are three bedrooms downstairs, one of which — where Dr. Good practiced — will be a parlor.
That leaves two rooms to rent.
“It just makes things simpler,” Miller says.
There are fewer regulations with fewer rooms, she says.
Less cooking and housekeeping also will leave Miller with more time for her pursuit of greenhouse gardening — there’s a greenhouse on the property — and a new cottage garden.
Delano residents have been watching the process on the house and gardens.
Miller expects to open within six weeks and will let us know an exact date soon.