Established in 1862, the Circle S Ranch has been working ranch for 6 generations. Mary Beth Stewart did as her ancestors had done and became the fifth generation of Stewarts to stay on the land. Mary Beth married Jack Cronemeyer and together they built a family and the County Inn.
The history of the inn started many years ago and has become part of the local landscape. We are happy to have you here to share a part of midwest heritage with us.
As you drive down the country road to the arch entrance of the ranch, you will see the drive leading to the Inn with tall native grasses. The driveway to the Inn is nearly a half-mile long, ending as you come over the hill and see the valley. The Inn sits at a slight angle facing the path that leads to the prairie garden where many weddings are held.
The ranch was built in 1997 and 1998, opening May 1st, 1998 with a wedding weekend. We built the Inn to look like an old Kansas barn, complete with lean to and silo. On the inside some floors are wood plank and others are concrete that look like old stone. We have furniture built from old wood, along with comfy couches and chairs. The interior of the Inn used many woods from stripped logs and 2x4’s laid flat for the silo and Great Room fireplace. Jack’s Great Grandfather Will built silos in the 1800’s from 2x6’s and Jack used the design for our silo that houses a hottub and a stairway to the third floor. The stairway in the Great Room is built from used planking stair treads and stripped logs are used for the railing. All wood floors are stained and oiled yellow pine that look like old worn floors. Two rooms have refurbished claw foot soaking tubs along with separate showers.
During 2008 the Circle S Ranch went through some great additions. The entry now has an outdoor fenced patio leading to a new front entry just off of the Great Room. The old entrance is now a larger conference room with an outside entrance, and entry into the Inn. In the Great Room a new bar area has been added to the east side.
Most exciting are changes to the party barn; we have slowly added new things. A few years ago we added cabanas to the front of the party barn, making a softer entrance to the main reception area and lots of usable space spring through fall. We finished the walls of the party barn with stucco and put on a new paint finish with an incredible checkered ceiling out of mahogany. We spiffed up the bathrooms and bar area. Also the landscaping all around the party barn has really matured into a beautiful natural area.
On the walk to the party barn you will pass the garden cellar, a cellar where a home once stood and is now a romantic stone area where we set up tables for extra seating for large groups. Gardens surround the area with coneflowers, blue false indigo, butterfly plants, blackberry iris, maiden grasses, daylilies, iris, hostas, oak leaf hydrangea, spirea, roses, peonies and poppies.
So slow down and enjoy the outdoors, even if it’s just sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch. Couples have the time to reconnect, wedding couples have a memorable beginning with friends and family where everyone has the time to enjoy such a special event, and corporate groups leave the stress of the office behind to natural surroundings with comfortable overnight accommodations. Families appreciate the room to roam and run, flying kites and swinging in from the old fashion tree swings. Evenings are spent watching fireflies glow and stars twinkle, hearing the coyotes hollering and the frogs singing.