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Back In Fashion

What do you think of when you think Bed and Breakfast? You may envision a cozy farmhouse with the innkeeper’s trusted hound curled up by the fire, homemade biscuits, quilted comforters, … But most bed and breakfasts have left traditional comfort behind for true luxury. In fact, many travelers seeking luxury are increasingly turning to B&Bs for the modern accoutrements and outstanding service that can be customized to suit guest taste.


Husband-and-wife team Penny Province and Jon Emanuel own the Old Caledonian Bed & Breakfast. The Old Caledonian Bed & Breakfast resides in the grand Ruggles-Evans-Dent House, built in 1849 in the quaint village of Caledonia. Listed on the United States Register of Historic Places, the home was built by Elijah Starr Ruggles, son of Martin Ruggles, one of the founders of the Springfield Lead Furnace near Caledonia. Ruggles sold the home to James S. Evans in 1853; the Evans family sold it to W. J. Dent, a banker and relative of Julia Dent Grant, wife of Ulysses S. Grant, in 1911. This beautiful Greek Revival-style mansion still contains original stairways, features, quarters, and woodwork. All the wood trim in the house is from walnut trees that were on the property when the house was built, and milled on site.

Penny’s family history in Caledonia and the surrounding areas can be traced back over a century and a half. Penny’s great-great grandparents were among Caledonia’s earliest Scottish settlers. Penny was the owner/innkeeper of the beautiful and acclaimed Schoolhouse Bed & Breakfast in Rocheport, MO for a decade. Her background in home staging is evident in her beautiful decorative touches at the Old Caledonian Bed & Breakfast; and her time as an etiquette educator might have some influence on her graceful approach to hosting guests!

The place just makes a bride feel special the second she walks in.

It’s the little details that make this a great B & B — like the triple sheeted beds with high quality linens, hand crafted soaps and shampoos, etc.– offerings very important to Penny and Jon. They also rent the Bride’s Room, which is just a part of the full wedding facility rental. That room is really stellar. Its vintage vibe and plush antique furniture is striking. The place just makes a bride feel special the second she walks in. Three bright makeup stations with giant mirrors and individual lighting mean the whole group can get made up much more efficiently. The entire home and grounds are perfect for wedding photography, from claw foot tubs to historic rooms. A bride’s wedding album can’t go wrong here.

The possibilities are only as limited as our creativity. We can’t wait to see what happens next.

Caledonia is ready for a boom. People are starting to see that this town has a lot to offer in the way of central location to great area attractions, a business-friendly environment, fantastic and fun existing shops/restaurants/lodging, outgoing people and great local flavor. We want the Old Caledonian Bed & Breakfast to grow with Caledonia and rise to meet any needs we can fill. We have acres of space, an historic structure and open minds. The possibilities are only as limited as our creativity. We can’t wait to see what happens next.

Jon has been a professional chef for 25 years. Trained at the California Culinary Academy, Jon’s experience has taken him around the world. His first executive chef position was at the incredible Glacier Bay Country Inn, located in the wilds of bush Alaska. His next turn as executive chef was at South Pole Station, Antarctica, to which he made seven deployments over six years to feed scientists and support crews at one of the planet’s most challenging locations (oh, the stories Jon can tell you!).

Jon spent his most recent executive chef position providing nutritious, potentially life-saving meals to thousands living with life-threatening illnesses at Project Angel Heart, a nonprofit in Denver, Colorado. Jon also taught culinary arts as a Chef Instructor at the Metropolitan State University of Denver for several years, as well as butchery at the Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat. Over the span of his career, Jon’s work as a chef has received mention and praise in Food & Wine, Saveur, The Denver Post, and The New York Times. He has also made several national and local television/radio appearances, including features for PBS, ESPN, NPR and National Geographic TV, as well as dozens of cooking demos on local TV.

Breakfast at the Old Caledonian is meant to be the morning equivalent of a fine dining experience.

Jon’s passion for great food, love of community, and fondness for meeting new friends is a perfect fit for the Old Caledonian Bed & Breakfast with the love of his life, Penny. The south side of the house was hit by a confederate cannonball as the Union was retreating through Caledonia from the battle of Pilot Knob. You can actually see the repair work on the bricks on the outside of the house. Breakfast at the Old Caledonian is meant to be the morning equivalent of a fine dining experience. From the quality of the ingredients and the service to the presentation and creativity of our dishes themselves, we want our guests to be wowed by our meals. Some of our favorite offerings have been stone-ground grits waffles with a choice of either fruit compote or sausage gravy; our “Iron Eggs” with tomato-onion jam, a coddled egg, cheese and biscuits served in an individual sized cast-iron Dutch oven; and our Caledonia Benedict consisting of a homemade sausage patty, a honey cornbread cake, a sous vide egg and pimento cheese sauce. I make the sausage myself. It is seasoned to be a cross between a classic American breakfast sausage, a Scottish-style banger and a classic Midwest brat. It’s got a sharpness and (not hot) spiciness that goes great with breakfast food like soft eggs, rich sauces and our incredible biscuits.


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