Kokomo Tribune June 29, 2011
By Ken de la BastideTribune enterprise editor Tipton — TIPTON — When a father passed away in 2010, his children didn’t want to sell his farmhouse and 120 acres in Tipton County. It had been in the family for 147 years. So, the children of Joe and Eunice Off restored the family homestead and created the Off Farmhouse Bed & Breakfast. Their great-great-grandfather Jacob Off settled in Tipton County in 1864, starting a sawmill in Jackson Station and purchasing 400 acres. The house was built in 1902 by their great-grandparents Oscar and Mary Off. Their grandfather Herbert lived in the house until 1992. In 1995, Joe and Eunice moved in. Cheryl Orr, Carol Powell and Phillip Off inherited the property. Not wanting to part with the family homestead, they restored the farmhouse and outbuildings located on Ind. 19, just north of Tipton. The siblings sold all the household furnishings. When they decided to open the bed and breakfast, the search began for furniture that would have been comparable to what was used in 1902. “We used to come here to visit our grandparents,” Powell said. Phillip Off said the siblings never went up to the second floor of the farmhouse, which was used mainly for storage. The conversion to a bed and breakfast started in October 2010. The first step was to obtain the proper zoning. “We didn’t want to change the layout of the house,” Off said. He said the house contains the original kitchen cabinets and woodwork, much of which was made from wood felled on the property and converted into boards at the family-owned sawmill. Orr said the bed and breakfast opened in May with a “Ladies Night Out” with the right group of local women to get the word out. Just as in 1902, there are no televisions in the house. A second bathroom was added on the second floor, complete with a replica bathtub sitting on four raised legs. Powell said heating and air conditioning and insulation were added to the second floor. “All the furniture we wanted to stay in the same era as the house,” she said. “We went to a lot of auctions, shopped at antique store and on Craig’s List.” Orr explained each of the four bedrooms is themed after local trees because their grandfather was in the timber business. The Elm room is the bedroom used by their parents. The other rooms are known as the Oak, Hickory and Walnut. Powell said they bought as much of the furnishings as possible in the local area. An overnight stay costs $60 plus tax, and more information is available online at http://off19.com. The farmhouse is smoke-free.