“We were both farm kids, but we were married in ’92 and both had homes in Sioux Falls,” said John Steever, explaining that his wife Sara Steever missed her country roots.
They bought five acres of land from John’s parents and Sara stumbled upon an old house near Gayville in 1994.
The couple moved with the 1908 Sears home 70 miles to their Lennox property just 10 miles from Sioux Falls.
“When we decided to move a house as opposed to building, we were more appreciative of the architecture of old houses than what was available in newer homes,” said John. “Replicating that in new construction can be costly.”
At some point in the journey, Sara started throwing around the idea of running a bed and breakfast.
“My response was that maybe we should stay at one first,” John said with a laugh. “We had both been involved in food service and had experience in the hospitality business, but we knew nothing of lodging.”
Over the next three years, they began remodeling to make space for overnight stays, ensuring each guest room and suite had its own bathroom.
The B&B is a part of the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance.
In June of 1997, they welcomed their first visitors into Steever House Bed & Breakfast with two open guest rooms.
Now 25 years later, John still gets up early to put the coffee on and take his time making a hot meal for guests.
“It’s a lot longer than I thought we’d do it because I didn’t know anything about the business. I said we could give it a try. But as it turns out, it’s been good,” said John.
Most mornings, guests are served combinations of fresh fruit, eggs, a pastry, and meat. Pastries can range from Banana Pecan Muffins to Dutch Babies, while meat may vary from bacon to ham to sausage depending on the day.
“I try to respect what people want or need in their diets,” said John. “I ask about people’s dietary restrictions, allergies, or things they just don’t like. Most people just say anything is fine.”
The food isn’t the only draw. Those who stay with the Steevers often enjoy the historic aspect of the home.
“Sara and I both had some appreciation for old materials and architecture.” -John Steever
Perfect Toffee Scones Recipe
*John Steever has modified this recipe but did not create it.
3 C. FLOUR
1/3 C. SUGAR
2 1/2 TSP. BAKING SODA
3/4 TSP. SALT
1/2 TSP. BAKING SODA
1 C. CHILLED BUTTER IN CHUNKS
1 C. CHILLED SOUR CREAM
1/2 C. TOFFEE CHIPS
SMALL AMOUNT OF MILK & SUGAR FOR GLAZE
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and combine all dry ingredients into a large bowl.
2. Add chunks of butter, and combine until mixture has a crumbly consistency.
3. Incorporate sour cream without over mixing. Then add toffee chips.
4. Dump onto a floured surface and knead until smooth.
5. Divide into 2 disks about 1 1/2 inches thick. Cut into 8 wedges for a total of 16 wedges.
6. Brush with milk, and heavily sprinkle with sugar. Spread the wedges onto a foil-covered and sprayed cookie sheet.
7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden on top.
“A lot of them are taken by the old house,” said John. “Some people enjoy this old, Queen Anne-style Victorian home that was built in 1908. The architecture entices them.”
Each room and suite is different with two of them having queen beds and the remaining three offering kings.
Two of the options are suites that have jacuzzi tubs, showers, and a private seating area.
The main floor of the house has the common areas to gather with tables and living space.
The Blue Room’s bathroom is where the home’s original clawfoot tub and shower combo can be found.
The couple, who’ve been together for 30 years, enjoys meeting the variety of people that come to stay with them, and even offer up their yard for celebrations.
“We have space available here indoors and outdoors. We have rented it for a number of different occasions,” said John.
Inside offers space for smaller events like meetings while outside has enough gathering space and parking for something larger.
The largest wedding hosted on the property had about 200 people, according to John.
“There’s an outdoor pavilion with a fireplace and a lot of nice yard space and quite a bit of parking also,” said John.
Steever House offers a safe and quiet getaway, just minutes from the hustle and bustle of Sioux Falls attractions and restaurants.
“All B&Bs are different in their location, architecture, proximity to attractions, food service, and other amenities,” explained John. “We’re an older style bed and breakfast. We still provide a full hot breakfast and a hands-on approach.”