Growing up on a family farm near Humboldt, Iowa, Elaine Edwards always had an affinity for agriculture. When she first came to Iowa State University in 1975, she leaned on that passion while working toward a degree in agricultural journalism.
After graduating in 1979, Edwards went on to work at the ISU Extension Communication office while continuing her journalism schooling. She spent 21 fulfilling years writing, editing and publicizing exhibits for Iowa State and, in the process, earned her master’s degree in journalism.
Following her time at ISU, Edwards took her talents to Kansas State University, where she worked in news and marketing in a position very similar to her job at Iowa State. Seven years later, Edwards and her husband Mark decided it was time to leave their media jobs to attempt a more domestic career path.
The pair bought a Queen Anne Victorian style home in Lanesboro, Minn., and began their lives as the owners of a bed and breakfast. The Habberstad House, named after its original owner, Olaf M. Habberstad,, boasts six uniquely themed guest rooms, a spacious backyard and over a century of history.
A stay at the Habberstad house also includes what guests have called “fantastic family breakfasts,” a perk the Edwards’ pride themselves on. Up at 6 a.m. each morning, the couple begins preparing food for the guests’ morning meal.
“We’re like dairy farmers,” said Elaine Edwards. “We’re on every day.”
She sees this hard work pay off when visiting around the breakfast table with guests. Hearing the stories of strangers passing through her home is what Edwards finds most enjoyable about her new lifestyle.
“We have had a doctor who served in WWII,” Edwards said. “We had a couple who stayed their first night in America here. We had a doctor who delivered triplets to a mother who was already raising 15 children. You get to meet the most interesting people.”