Allegan Country Inn Innkeeper
Some might call it fate; some call it pre-ordination; and some will profess it to be the hand of God. Nevertheless, when life seems to pick you up and carry you along, it's usually best to buckle up and enjoy the ride.
For Sheila Dever (pictured on the left of her daughter, Kelly), the whirlwind ride has taken her to 14 gorgeous acres in Allegan, Michigan. Comfortably settled into her life and career in Grand Rapids, this former Allegan County farm girl hit a bump in the road when her company requested she move to the Columbus/Dayton Ohio area. Sheila was not interested in leaving West Michigan, and so she told her realtor to look for anything along the lakeshore. What she found was a beautiful piece of property with a house and out buildings which would fulfill a lifetime dream. The house was large enough to serve as a Bed and Breakfast, and Sheila immediately knew this is where she was meant to be. She moved in during February of 2005 and began transforming the beautiful home into the Allegan Country Inn.
An excellent cook, Sheila enjoys turning out a complete country breakfast for her overnight guests, and loves taking special menu requests. When guests are preparing to head out for a day at the beach or to hit the nearby snowmobile trails, Sheila always makes sure they don't go on their way hungry.
Sheila is reminded daily of the serendipity of her journey to this place, because in her beautiful kitchen sits a small box of beverage coasters, a long-ago gift from her daughter Kelly's godmother. Pictured on the front of the decorative box is a snow-covered landscape with a white two-story house — strangely resembling the Allegan Country Inn. It's as though that gift was an eerie peek into Sheila's future, which over time has become her here-and-now. "I look at it all the time," Sheila says wistfully, "and marvel at the resemblance of the house on the coasters to what has become my inn. It truly re-enforces my belief that I was meant to be here."
*Special thanks to the very helpful, kind, and wonderful Carol Garofalo for allowing us to re-publish some of her content from her article about the Allegan Country Inn published in SW Michigan Magazine.