This is the second in a series of articles about overnight lodging in Oregon County.
Canoeists, hunters and former residents returning for family and school reunions are among the guests of the many and varied overnight lodgings in Oregon County.
Marie Kilburn was raised on a large farm three miles north of Alton; today a small section of that farm sports an overnight cottage operated by her son, Mike Chronister, and his wife, Sue. The Eleven Point Lodge is a two-bedroom house mainly built from the virgin timbers hewn for the original home Kilburn grew up in.
"After (my husband) Henry died I asked Mike and Sue, "Why don't we build a new house, with a separate wing for me on the land? You could rent out the house you're living in now," Kilburn remembered.
The Chronisters decided a bed-and-breakfast-type rental would be a better option than a rental house and the Eleven Point Lodge began operating in September 2001. The lodge has sleeping accommodations for six to seven, television, washer/dryer, outdoor grill and a horseshoe pit. Rates begin at $35 per night for up to six people. Continental or full breakfast is optional for an additional fee.
The Eleven Point Lodge is off Highway 19 north of Alton, near the river that bears its name and Mark Twain National Forest.
One feature the Chronisters emphasize on their Web site, http://www.geocities.com/elevenpointlodg..., is that bald eagles nest in the area. The Eleven Point Lodge may be contacted at 417 778-6106, (417) 331-5580 (cell) or email@example.com.
In a similar fashion, Larry and Daisy Simmons started the Piney Creek Lodge after building their new home. "We started three or four years ago," Daisy Simmons said. "I rarely see our guests. When I know the time they might arrive I leave the front door open. When they leave they lock up and leave their money. I've never had any problems."
Piney Creek Lodge is located on Wildcat Road just east of the junction of Highways 19 and 160 at Alton. The lodge has one separate unit (the former family room) that has two queen-size beds, satellite television, mini kitchen and bath. It rents for $30 per night.
The main house, which is wheelchair accessible via the rear deck, has three bedrooms and all the other features of a home including telephone and satellite TV. (Washer/dryer is available on request.) Simmons said they have had long term guests; for example one local man whose house burned down stayed at Pine Creek Lodge while building another. The Simmonses offers reduced rates on those terms. Basic rates begin at $40 for two. Phone (417) 778-6164 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The lodge overlooks a well- maintained pasture that adjoins Piney Creek.
In the city of Alton, Floyd and Joann Frost opened the Frost House in May 2002. They bought the house because it was not being taken care of and Mr. Frost knew the history of it.
"The house came from Midco, just north of Fremont. My grandfather worked there. They were a major employer in the area after World War I, then suddenly shut down. A lot of the houses they had up there were moved to Alton. Frost House is one of them." Frost said.
Midco is the name of the community that grew around the Mid Continent Iron Company that operated north of Fremont, Mo., until the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1919 devastated the community and the company shut down.
The Frost House opened its doors as an overnight lodging in May 2002 and offers two bedrooms, complete kitchen facilities, washer/dryer, satellite TV and telephone. Rates begin at $35 per night. The Frosts can be reached at (417) 778-76177 or (417) 331-7713 (cell).
Joann Frost said, "One guest not only did all the dishes, but did all the linens and made the beds. Our guests are so wonderful."