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New owners give old Rosewood Inn a new name and a new look

Sandy Ostrem, left, and Paul Ostrem are the new owners of the old Rosewood Inn, now named the Historic Inn on Ramsey. They are pictured with their innkeeper, Marlys Krueger, and outdoor property manager Dave Hoban. Star Gazette photo by Katrina Styx

Outside the old Rosewood Inn at the corner of Seventh and Ramsey streets, not much has changed. But inside, the 134-year-old building has taken on a new look.

Paul and Sandy Ostrem bought the bed and breakfast from former owners Pam and Dick Thorsen in February. Since then, they’ve redecorated the interior and given the place a new name: The Historic Inn on Ramsey St.

The Ostrems, formerly of Minneapolis and Apple Valley, were introduced to Hastings by a longtime friend, Dave Hoban, who owns another historic building just a few blocks away. They had been involved in a 12-room hotel in Dinkeytown, and that made them start thinking of owning their own bed and breakfast, Sandy Ostrem said. When they found the old Rosewood on the market, they decided to just take a look. The structure and the history associated with it resonated with them, Paul Ostrem said, so they decided to buy it.

They gave a special thanks to the Thorsens for saving and restoring the building. It’s had a long history, and Pam and Dick Thorsen were the ones who rescued and renovated it.

The Rosewood was extraordinarily decorated in the Victorian style, Sandy Ostrem said, but they envisioned a lighter European look.

Redecorating and updating the place has been a team effort. The Ostrems have gotten help from Hoban, who is their outdoor property manager, as well as another longtime friend, Marlys Krueger, the new innkeeper.

Virtually all the items in the inn are second-hand, with only a few exceptions. Much of it came from stores in Hastings or other area cities. Store owners have been gracious, she said, and the local restaurants have been instrumental in sustaining them throughout renovations.

“We could not have done it without the kindness and support of Hastings,” Sandy Ostrem said.

Now that the snow is gone, the team is starting to work on some outdoor projects. They’re planning a new roof, some outdoor seating, flower gardens to supply fresh flowers to every room and an herb garden to supply the kitchen.

The other change is that only six of the eight rooms will house guests. The Ostrems will be living in one room, and Krueger, who had lived in Woodbury, has moved into another.

At first, Paul Ostrem said, they considered keeping their Apple Valley home and commuting, but it quickly became clear that wasn’t going to work very well. Sandy Ostrem said she also wanted to make sure the massive house felt like home, and the best way to make that happen was to make it their home.

“It’s an enormous task, but we love it,” Krueger said.

The Historic Inn on Ramsey offers overnight stays with a high level of personal service. Organic meals can be served in any room. Each bedroom has its own hot tub and fireplace. There are several common rooms, including a library, dining room, living room, reading room, sun room and more, so there’s plenty of space to find a quiet corner.

The only caveat is that the inn won’t be hosting children. The reason, Sandy Ostrem said, is because of several structural features that could potentially be dangerous for children, such as the fireplaces, hot tubs and the sharp corners that often come with historic buildings.

The inn will be able to host a range of special events, such as weddings, rehearsal dinners, business meetings, book clubs and more, Paul Ostrem said. Sandy Ostrem said she envisions holding mystery dinners at some point also.

“We want this to become something for the community,” she said. And, for those who are just curious, the Ostrems invite people to simply knock on the door – they’re happy to show you around.