Welcome to Bell Aura, an idyllic bed & breakfast nestled amongst the trees in the quaint small town of Carman, Manitoba, Canda.
When you enter the building, one of the first features you notice is the beautiful stained glass windows. The windows are steeped in history, this enchanting building, that is now Bell Aura Bed, Breakfast & Bistro, was originally constructed in the year 1898. As a church building, it was christened the St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. The windows are original, and arrived from Scotland in large crates filled with molasses (which acted like the bubble wrap of today, to ensure the safety of the windows).
As you continue to make your way through the building you will find the living room, which was originally the sanctuary. There is a large stained glass window mounted up on the wall. Part of the original building, it was removed to accommodate the second floor. It was eventually recovered and restored by a local artist from Sperling, Manitoba, Ken Potter.
The Presbyterians moved on after selling the building to the United Church of Canada. The United Church made some changes to the facility which included moving the cornerstone. I found a letter in a dusty corner of the basement attesting to that fact. The letter also said that the “stone” was a time capsule of sorts and that the contents were read and put back along with an addition from the United Church. I have yet to discover what the contents are! The stone now lays by the bell tower, that now rests in the front yard and acts as a cozy nook for book readers or people watchers.
After the United Church, the Church of Christ moved in and stayed for many years. The Sunday school room, now the Limberlost guest room, still has the original black board! Needing a larger and perhaps more modern space, the Church of Christ eventually sold the premises to a family with children. A second floor was installed to accommodate the family, and they opened the tea room!
The theme was maintained by the next owners, who then made the upstairs rooms into a bed and breakfast. Flower gardens were established and the name became the Walnut Street Bed and Breakfast and Tea Room. The name Walnut Street was derived from the old name of the street before the names were changed into numbers. Another group of people, three sisters in fact, next bought the facility and maintained the name and use of the building for fifteen years.
I took possession of the building on April 7, 2014. Church or not, I consider it one of my life’s greatest blessings. I am home.
I welcome you to come and enjoy this piece of paradise.