"AVELLA - When Marcy and Dale Tudor began to
restore their 1870s farmhouse, they were meticulous about making their new home
The family who lived in the house before them had
wall-to-wall carpeting and wallpaper in most of the rooms. That decorating style
wouldn't have existed in 1870, so the Tudors went to work.
Marcy spent six days on her hands and knees
stripping the paint off the living room hardwood floor. But also during the
ongoing restoration, she and her husband installed insulation, window caulking,
high-efficiency heat pumps and water measures to the century-old house they were
turning into a bed and breakfast.
Their efforts earned the Tudors' Weatherbury Farm
an Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star Small Business Award this year.
Even though 'environmentally friendly'
wasn't a catch phrase in 1870, Marcy explained that families conserved out of
'Back then they were environmentally
conscious because they reused things,' she said. 'They would only heat
only one room, the room they were in. It was called cheap or thrifty.'
The Tudors conserve mainly because its
economical, said Marcy, who is also a self-employed accountant.
In each of the guest's bathrooms, there are
framed signs asking visitors to use their washcloths and towels more than once
before having them laundered.
The 'Save the Planet' signs sit close
to claw-foot bathtubs, pull-chain toilets and pedestal sinks.
Visitors at the Avella bed-and- breakfast get
more than they would at most B&Bs across the country, Dale said. Their
bed-and- breakfast is modeled after European B&Bs, which typically involve
guests more than at their American counterparts.
The Tudors decided they wanted a B&B of their
own while they visited European pensiones and guest houses in the 1980s. Dale, a
business analyst for Bayer, was on assignment in Germany at that time and was
fortunate enough to receive the customary six weeks of vacation.
'We came back (to the United States) and
thought we would find an old house on 10 acres to turn into a
bed-and-breakfast,' Marcy said. 'There were no old houses on 10 acres,
so we bought this house on 100 acres.'
Marcy named the farm after Thomas Hardy's novel,
'Far From the Madding Crowd,' because they thought city residents
would book rooms there to escape the rush.
'It's hard for people anymore to get exposed
to a farm,' Marcy said.
In addition to being a bed and breakfast,
Weatherbury is a farm vacation destination, so visitors are encouraged to get
involved in the farm activities each day. It is one of only 25 farm vacations
across the state, she said.
Dale, Marcy and their 18-year-old son, Nigel,
raise Hereford cattle, Scottish Highland cattle, Southdown sheep and bantam
chickens. They also grow hay.
While some of their clientele comes from
Pittsburgh, the Tudors have had visitors this year from Israel, Australia,
England, Canadian provinces and from across the country.
Each of the guest rooms are named after former
residents of the house, Marcy said. For example, Mother's Sewing Room is named
after Phoebe Murdock, who loved to sew in the summer kitchen. The room has a
king-size antique bed, a wooden daybed, an old-fashioned Singer sewing machine
and an antique rocking chair.
The Tudors are hoping to have a homecoming for
all former residents who lived in the house, Marcy said.
'We're lucky because many of the former
residents who lived in our home still live in the area,' she said."