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New Owners Bring Historic Virginia Inn

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CHRISTIANSBURG, Virginia (AP) – Shannon Magenheimer has become the princess she has always dreamed of.

As a child on trips to County Headquarters from the Longshop family farm, Magenheimer said she would imagine a magical life in The Oaks mansion, long a centerpiece of the historic downtown district on East Main and Park streets .

“I thought a princess lived here,” Magenheimer said.

At home after a long stay in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and Oregon native Jason, Magenheimer has reopened The Oaks Victorian Inn.

The couple spent months meticulously cleaning the ornate original interior, from its grand central oak staircase to every inch of its five reconfigured and updated guest suites. They upgraded the HVAC system, replaced a roof terrace and staircase, revitalized the landscaping, and renovated a freestanding chalet and lounge area, which is also available to guests.

The couple live on the third floor with a view of the neighborhood.


They even run a koi pond, featuring two oversized gentlemen named Pepion and Milton – the latter after the death of a beloved boss, Magenheimer said.

“I never thought I could get attached to a fish, but this guy has been so entertaining,” she said. “He’s like a puppy.”

The Magenheimers have a long history in Montgomery County. Not only is Shannon a native of here, but together the couple founded the New River Coffee Company in 2002, which had locations in the Mall and what is now the LewisGale Montgomery Hospital.

They sold this business – which continues to operate in the Uptown Mall – when Shannon was offered a job at a Washington state resort. Jason eventually accepted a position at an upscale boutique hotel in downtown Bend, Oregon, where he worked for a dozen years in the luxury hotel industry.

They brought their extensive hospitality experience to The Oaks, where Jason put together a “soap menu” for guests featuring artisanal products imported from Oregon.

A pillow menu is also in the works, so guests can choose what will give them the best night’s sleep, he said. And The Oaks has their own personalized bathrobes for cozy comfort.

Jason can also make a great espresso – a service he provides to guests. The Oaks serves a ‘cafe menu’ breakfast with baked goods and gourmet coffee roasted by Brugh Coffee in Christiansburg, all prepared on site and delivered to guest rooms.

The idea is to work with as many local businesses as possible, Jason said. And to build relationships with guests.

“Coffee has proven it, hasn’t it?” Jason said. “I think we built our clientele just on relationship building… because people came to the hospital for coffee. Who goes to the hospital for a cup of coffee?

Built between 1889 and 1893 by William H. Pierce, the Victorian Oaks Queen Anne Mansion is the oldest house in its current historic district. And it’s the only structure left there dating from the 19th century, according to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

Originally located on 5 acres of land, the Oaks is today surrounded by 1.2 acres. The Pierce family occupied the house until 1981, giving it the name of the dozen or so original white oaks that adorned the property. There are four left today.

Pierce was a large landowner and well-known figure in Montgomery County, founder of the Pierce Insurance Agency and serving in Rotary, according to the Montgomery Museum of Art and History.

The house was named a national and national historic monument in 1994.

Former owners Tom and Margaret Ray converted the house to a bed and breakfast in 1989. Other owners operated it until the Magenheimers bought it in May for $ 755,000, according to the land records of the city.

The couple said bookings have increased by word of mouth since opening in late summer, with some important Virginia Tech dates already filled.

For more information, visit https://theoaksvictorianinn.com.


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