When Mary Eckhart-Sims and her then-husband purchased an 1850s historical home on Caroline Street near downtown Montgomery in 2000, Eckhart-Sims was looking for a new project. Although Eckhart-Sims worked as an interior designer for 20 years, she said she did not fully understand what was in store for her family.
An abandoned greenhouse hid at the back of the property; a building that was formerly living quarters for slaves sat unused with no electricity or plumbing; the lawn and trees were overgrown; and a carport on the edge of the property had burned down.
Over the next six years, Eckhart-Sims slowly breathed new life into the historic home, adorning it with antique items, warm lighting and plenty of corners in which to read a book or enjoy a cup of coffee. In 2006, she decided to open her home as The Caroline House Bed and Breakfast—named after the well-known Montgomery street it sits on.
The bed and breakfast is dog- and child-friendly, and it is within walking distance of shops and restaurants in Montgomery’s historic district. The Caroline House is also a short drive from wedding venues, wineries, activities on Lake Conroe and hike and bike trails in Sam Houston National Forest.
At The Caroline House, Eckhart-Sims said she strives to provide a special hospitality experience that caters to guests’ needs. She offers complimentary wine and cheese to guests and prepares homemade breakfast daily, with luncheons and dinners available upon request.
“I like listening to the stories that go around the table when people have met for the first time, and nobody knows anybody and they’re from different states or different cities,” Eckhart-Sims said. “You think they have nothing in common, but it’s crazy—every time, everyone finds something to talk about. It’s a pleasure; it really is.”
The Caroline House
811 Caroline St., Montgomery
Rooms and rates
Elizabeth’s Room ($175-$200 per night): The Caroline House’s attic was remodeled to include a
master bedroom with a king-size bed, a children’s bedroom with two twin-size beds and a bathroom. The area has a TV, a reading nook and closet space.
The Garden Cottage ($175 per night): This one-bed, one-bathroom space was once the living space for the slaves who worked on the property. This separate house has a small entry area, a coffee corner and is ideal for honeymooners.
The Guest House ($350 per night): This former greenhouse has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, dining room and a comfortable living room. The space is recommended for families or friends.