Pulling up to The Queen and I Bed and Breakfast, the first thing noticed is the 1873 two-story brick home that Isaac and Holly Hook renovated in 2015. Then the guineas, a chicken-like bird used to keep ticks away, will start to run across the driveway, making one wonder if this place really is just a couple miles outside downtown Crawfordsville.
Following a gravel path off the paved driveway visitors will find the only cabin yurt in Indiana.
A yurt is a structure that dates back centuries in Asian culture. Traditionally, it is a circular wooden frame covered in animal skins or felt, resembling a tent. These have sheltered many nomadic groups, and is still a home to over half of the Mongolian population today, according to National Geographic.
The Hooks, however, are renting out a more modern yurt. The building is made entirely of wood, has electricity, a full kitchen and indoor plumbing.
The 28-acre property at 2710 E. State Road 32 also has walking trails through the woods. And there is a chance you will be joined by their Spanish Mastiff, Gus, who loves tagging along on walks.
However, the couple admits they were in a little over their heads when constructing their cabin yurt, as neither of them have a background in construction. Both work at North Montgomery High School, Isaac as the athletic trainer and Holly as a computer science and business teacher.
“The process was a lot longer than we ever thought. And, you know, as healthcare and education by profession, we had no idea what we were getting into as we started constructing this building,” Isaac said. “Facebook even thinks I should have a master’s degree in construction management, from the amount of research we’ve had to do.”
The idea came from the Hooks wanting a separate building from the Queen and I on property. After researching they liked the idea of a yurt, but thought something more stable, like a cabin, would be best. They broke ground in November 2020.
The Queen and I yurt has been open since Memorial Day weekend and has been booked pretty much every weekend since. They’ve had visitors come to stay during the Strawberry Festival, take advantage of local state parks, like Turkey Run and Shades State Park, and even to escape the noise of the city to relax in the country.
“I really like opening our home and our property to guests. And to people of all walks of life and seeing them experience something different on our homestead,” Isaac said. “Whether it’s the guineas roaming around, or walking the trails through the woods or having a breakfast with fresh eggs that we collected that day, that’s always rewarding to us.”
To learn more about The Queen and I Bed and Breakfast, call 765-918-4677, visit online at www.thequeenandibnb.com or find them on Facebook.