Say the name “Maple Knoll Inn” to longtime Rush City residents and they likely have no idea what you’re talking about.
But if you ask the right person where the “old Doc Halpin house” is, he or she could probably direct you to the quaint 1920s home less than a quarter mile south of the Grant House on Bremer Avenue.
People in town know it as the Doc Halpin house because the well-known town physician owned the house before he died in the early 1970s. Since that time, a few other people have owned the home, but the “Doc Halpin house” name stuck.
Just last year, Jeff and Ruth Titus — former St. Francis residents with an affinity for bed and breakfast lodging — purchased the home and began transforming it into a bed and breakfast.
This is their first venture in the business of offering quaint accommodations, and they’re hoping Maple Knoll Inn will become a destination to visit.
“We’ve been trying to open a bed and breakfast for maybe 10 or 15 years,” Jeff Titus said.
They looked at homes in several cities and even considered the Carlson house in Rush City before deciding the price for that house was too steep.
They had looked at the Doc Halpin house a few years ago and didn’t end up purchasing it then, but when they visited their daughter and son-in-law, who live in Rush City, last year and saw the house was for sale, they called and inquired about the price.
“We were kind of surprised about the price, and ‘boom,’ that’s how we ended up with it,” Jeff Titus said.
After moving in, the couple began making upgrades to the home and adding an assortment of antiques to give it a look closer to what it might have had when it was built.
Shortly after moving in, the couple noticed the staircase leading upstairs needed to be replaced, so they hired a local contractor to perform the work.
“Doc Halpin had delivered him,” Ruth Titus said.
Much to do around RC
Jeff Titus said ideally he and his wife are hoping people who tour the bed and breakfast circuit in Minnesota and those looking for a weekend getaway close to the cities will come to Maple Knoll Inn for a few days of rest, relaxation and recreation.
He noted there are numerous hiking opportunities around the area, ample areas to fish, kayak and canoe and snowmobile in the wintertime.
Those who want to experience a bit of nature right in Maple Knoll Inn’s backyard can take a short walk down to Rush Creek, which bisects the 3-acre property.
In addition to offering a relaxing getaway for up to three couples at a time, the Tituses are hoping to attract couples who are interested in working on their relationships through ministry.
“My husband and I have been doing a ministry since 1998,” Ruth Titus said. “We are marriage and life coaches. One of the things we had dreamed of doing was to be able to offer some enrichment weekends periodically for couples so they can work on various areas of their relationships.”
History of the house
By talking to people in town and doing a little research on the home they recently purchased, the Tituses have been able to garner some information about the house, but they’re always looking to learn more about the home.
“If anybody can contact us who knows any history of the house, we would love to know it,” Ruth Titus said.
Maple Knoll Inn’s grand opening is 2-5 p.m. June 15. Refreshments will be served and the public will be allowed to tour the bed and breakfast. The house is located at 685 Bremer Ave., Rush City.
For more information about Maple Knoll Inn, visit www.mapleknollinn.com.