Couple realizes dream of running bed & breakfast in Lakes Region
By ROGER AMSDEN, for THE LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — The Lantern Inn, which was originally built as a summer vacation retreat by Byron and Doris Hedblom and in recent years has been operated as the Lighthouse Inn Bed and Breakfast, has new owners, Shay and David Doyon, who say they are realizing their dream of running a bed-and-breakfast inn in the Lakes Region.
The Doyons met while they were both working at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, and a few years later were married at the Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough. David is a assistant professor of accounting at SNHU and Shay has operated an upscale vintage and and second-hand store in Pembroke, Shay's Attic Treasures, where she focused on home furnishings and restored vintage pieces for home décor.
Shay Doyon's dream of owning an inn began in 2000 on a trip to England where she stayed at a charming countryside bed and breakfast where the cozy, quaint feeling of the inn and the warm greeting from the owners left a lasting impression.
"Ever since then I've wanted to run an inn where you have that kind of interesting interactions with guests and make them feel comfortable and help them have a unique and wonderful experiences," she said.
She and David stayed at Lighthouse Inn in 2012, when it was operated by Mike and Pat Recht, and fell in love with the inn, especially the cathedral ceiling in its living room, the detailed woodwork with knotty pine paneling and the unique guest rooms, each with their own gas or electric furnace and private bathroom and tiled shower.
They later purchased property in the Weirs and started making their home there four years ago. Last fall, acting on a sense that it was their time to try and realize the dream of owning an inn, they contacted the Rechts and were able to acquire the historic five-acre property on Watson Road.
Since then they have been busy refurbishing the historic inn with new furniture gathered from Shay's experience and developing themes for each of the five guest rooms. They are also constructing a covered outdoor pavilion which will add to the experience of their guests.
The Doyons are fascinated by the history of the property they now own and its links to the history of Weirs Beach. It was built by Byron Hedblom, inspired by his links to naval architecture, with a bay window which resembles the lookout from a ship's wheelhouse and there are three 15-foot-high working lighthouses on the property.
Hedblom, the founder of General Ship and Engine Works in East Boston, is the man who reassembled the Chateaguay into the Mount Washington after it was shipped by rail from Lake Chaplain to Paugus Bay in 1940 to replace the side wheel steamer which had burned at the Weirs in December of 1939. Hedblom owned the ship from 1941 until 1972 and also built two other ships which operated on the lake, the Sophie C, named for his mother, and the Doris E, named for his wife. He was called out of retirement in 1982 to oversee the lengthening of the Mount from 203 feet to 230 feet.
"There are so many interesting details he created here," said Shay, who points out that the Lantern Inn name was inspired by Dave, who observed that when a person first enters the inn they will see lanterns everywhere.
Each of the five guest rooms has its own unique personality, like the Bohemian, which has an artistic flair and was built onto the original house, using what was formerly a patio area space.
There's also a Rustic Lake room, which has twin beds and knotty pine paneling like that found in lakeside cottages, a Shabby Chic room with wedding themes, a French Country room with elegant furnishings and a Coastal room, with nautical themes.
The Lantern Inn features breakfasts such as crème brule French toast, Canadian bacon, egg dishes, blueberry citrus bread, berry parfaits and coffee and juice.
The Doyons are looking forward to greeting members of the community at a grand opening open house on Saturday, May 6 from 1-4 p.m.
David and Shay Doyon have fulfilled a long-time dream of owning a inn in the Lakes Region and will be hosting an open house at the Lantern Inn on May 6 from 1-4 p.m. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
The Bohemian is a colorfully decorated guest room at the Lantern Inn. (Courtesy photo)
Rustic Lake guest room at the Lantern Inn features knotty-pine paneling and the look of a lakeside cottage. (Courtesy photo)
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