An Evening to Remember
New owners plan Victorian event at Vevay’s Pleasants Rose Mansion
The Deans bought and restored the inn,
which they operate
(October 2019) – On a sunny mid-September day, Mike Dean proudly proclaimed, “One hundred and fifty-seven days!”
In that short time, Dean and his wife, Susie, had sold their home in Linton, Ind., bought and restored a Victorian mansion in Vevay, Ind., and opened the Pleasants Rose Mansion Inn. They play host to their first guests in August. Positive reviews are already posted on Trip Advisor.
Not content to rest on that accomplishment, the Deans have now planned a unique Victorian “Evening to Remember,” a unique dinner experience set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24. That evening, guests will be formally announced as they enter.
They will be greeted by “James K. Pleasants and his wife, Charlotte,” the original owners of the home, aka Mike and Susie, dressed in 1800s period clothing, in character for the special evening.
Mike and Susie Dean (pictured below) operate the Pleasants Rose Mansion Inn at Vevay, Ind.
Each guest may be photographed for a personal memento of the period event. Special music by Madison musicians Rob Houze and Bill Lancton will entertain guests in the parlors during the social hour, which includes wine tasting provided by The Ridge Winery in Vevay.
Dinner in the formal dining room will be catered by Patty’s Reach. The cost for the evening is $65 per person. Seating is limited to the first 24 reservations. Proceeds from the event will be donated to “Wish for our Heroes,” a volunteer service organization that gives 100 percent of funds to meet special needs of current soldiers and their families.
The mansion was originally built by the Pleasants in 1881. James was a local merchant. Records report that during an 1889 burglary at his store, thieves took six revolvers, four coats, two hats, five fancy shirts, six pairs of suspenders, a box of pocket knives, an umbrella and $8 in cash.
The value of all of those items totaled $40, a significant loss at that time. The Pleasants’ stately red brick mansion, overlooking the Ohio River, has 16 rooms, including five bedrooms. Three of those bedrooms have been decorated for guests: The Rose Room, the Blue Room, and The Green Room.
The property includes 2.2 acres of riverfront, with a large lawn. A gazebo provides a photographic backdrop along the river. The fire pit will keep guests cozy while they enjoy the view on a cool riverfront evening.
“Pleasants Rose Mansion Inn is a fabulous addition to Switzerland County,” said Paula Myers, manager of the Switzerland County Tourism Office. “A step back in time in one of our historic mansions is offered to anyone visiting or even a weekend getaway for a couple or girls’ weekend. It is also available for weddings and holiday events.”
Pleasants Rose Mansion Inn, in Vevay, Ind.
Reviews on Trip Advisor describe the Deans as very gracious and accommodating hosts who are delightful and interesting.
“The Lord has blessed us immensely, and this is a way for us to share those blessings,” Mike said Their historic dream home is located at 806 W Market St. in Vevay. Mike said some weekends during festivals are already booked out two years. Links to reservations and event information are available online at: www.pleasantsrosemansion.com or on Facebook.
The Deans have traveled extensively. “When you travel, there is nothing better than a good, clean bed and a nice breakfast,” Mike said. To ensure the ultimate comfort for their guests, they ordered the same model of bed that is used in the famous Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C. The goal is to give guests that “Honey, I’m home” feeling, according to Mike. Guests are served a full breakfast at tables set with linens, fine china and silverware.
Fresh flowers complete the charm.
Mike, 63, and Susie, 62, have many engaging personal stories to share. Mike was a high school dropout who joined the U.S. Marine Corps because his father was a Marine. He and Susie married young, had one daughter and then were divorced. After spending some time in the military, Mike began to realize the value of an education. He completed his GED and ultimately a bachelor’s degree in business and a master’s certificate in government contracting. After 20 years apart, Mike and Susie were reunited and remarried.
In the course of a military career that spanned three decades and three branches of service, Mike continued to learn new things. He earned a pilot’s license, became a certified scuba diver and completed other training and special operations courses in the military.
As a result of his unique skills, he was recruited for an internal transfer to the U.S. Navy and then an internal transfer to the U.S. Army. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his service in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He retired from the Army as a Chief Warrant Officer Three. At that time, he was awarded the Legion of Merit. Still connected to the military, he accepted a civilian position at the Crane Naval Base in Indiana.
The Deans were able to settle down in Linton, Ind., during the 10 years he worked at Crane. He retired for the second time, in February 2018. Susie also retired after a career in risk management.
They have always been drawn to the Madison area. Susie, whose full name is Anita Sue Buchanan, has family roots in Madison. Her father, Howard Buchanan, was born there in 1909. Mike came from a military family and moved around while growing up. However, he was also connected to Madison. His great uncle was William Wesley Woollen.
Woollen floated down the Ohio River in 1944 with his two brothers. They settled in Madison. Woollen wrote “Historical Sketches in Indiana,” published in 1883. Mike enjoyed reading Woollen’s colorful descriptions of Madison. Inspired by Woollen’s stories, Mike wrote his own story, “Send Me: A Soldier’s Story,” published in 2013 and available on Amazon.
The Deans have always loved historic homes, and this is new chapter in their story. Owning a bed and breakfast is a way to live in one of those homes, have the flexibility to travel when they want to travel, and offset some of the costs to maintain a large historic home.
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