House on Kennedy transformed into bed & breakfast


The Kennedy Lodge at 315 S. Kennedy has received a face lift both inside and out, including a new cedar shake-shingle roof.


Breakfasts are served in the dining room, which opens off the kitchen. The door from the dining room leads to the deck and Jacuzzi and landscaped backyard.

A brother-sister duo are combining their talents and experience to provide visitors with another option for overnight stays in Hillsboro.

Owner Steve Jost and manager/cook Pat Nuss have opened the Kennedy Lodge, a four-bedroom three-bath bed and breakfast at the corner of Kennedy and C streets.

?We?re within walking distance of Tabor College and several churches?even downtown,? said Steve, who retired 15 years ago after a career in home and light commercial construction. After that, he had a ranching business and still owns pasture property in Ottawa County, north of Salina.

Steve purchased the house a year ago with the intention of opening a bed and breakfast, and has spent the past 12 months or so remodeling it, inside and out.

?The living room is just been completely updated?redone,? said Steve, who now resides in the house.

Originally constructed with a conversation pit area, the room now has a south window, a new floor that covers the pit, fresh wall covering, and woodwork and ceiling beams painted a warmer, lighter color.

Those changes have enhanced the functionality of the living room.

?All this woodwork was dark and kind of depressing,? said Pat, sales associate with Real Estate Specialists. ?There was a huge bar here made out of rock and the room was useless.?

Just off of the room are steps to a bedroom loft with twin beds overlooking the living room. Another set of steps lead to a cozy sitting area with stone-tiled floor and a wood-burning stove. The soothing sound of an indoor stone waterfall adds to the ambience of the space.

?If (Steve) had his way, there?d be no window coverings at all in the house,? Pat said. ?In fall or in winter, there?s no real demand for it. But July and August are just too bright.?

All three bathrooms have been retiled with stone. The largest bedroom, ?The Kennedy Suite,? holds a king-sized bed and room for guest seating. The house also has a new roof with cedar shingles.

With changes to the house?s structure and layout complete, Pat said Steve is focusing on the inside d?cor. He?s chosen the furnishing for the bedrooms and other rooms in the house, and is collecting art pieces that will hang on the walls.

?He has a very unique taste,? Pat said. ?It?s really his design.?

Some of the furniture, such as the washstand and rocker in one of the bedrooms, are antique pieces.

?(Steve) likes either old or new?and really old he doesn?t like,? Pat said, adding he prefers a Western/South?western style.

Registered guests can have full access to the house, including a landscaped backyard with large deck, Jacuzzi and patio, which Steve extended.

?It?s a home-like atmosphere,? Pat said about the ranch-style house. ?With the backyard, you can go out there and read a book, jump in the hot tub. It?s more private than motels.?

A big plus at the Kennedy Lodge are its breakfasts.

?(Pat) makes gourmet breakfasts that are out of this world,? said Steve, crediting his sister?s ?five-star? cooking expertise to their mother, Lorene Jost.

Seated at the kitchen table, his mother reminisced about Pat?s long-time enjoyment of cooking.

?When Pat was a little girl, that?s always where she wanted to be?in the kitchen,? Lorene said.

Breakfast is served at 8 a.m. in the dining room.

?I like to fix Dutch apple pancakes with peaches, and I have an Evergreen Frittata that I like to (prepare),? Pat said about her menu.

While the Kennedy Lodge has had weekend guests from places as far away as California, Michi?gan and Illinois, the house can be rented for events such as the wedding reception Pat catered.

Prices for rooms range from $79 to $100 per night.

For more information or to make reservations, call 620-947-1519 or e-mail

The brother-sister team plans to establish a Web site to showcase the Kennedy Lodge and provide guests with the option of making reservations online.

?This is joint venture,? Steve said. ?We?re doing it together.?

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