New owners bring modern twists to historic Chelsea bed and breakfast

CHELSEA, MI — Karla Pizzoli and her husband Steven Meisner drove by the Chelsea House Victorian Inn while house hunting for their daughter, and Pizzoli made up her mind she had to have it.

“I told him we’ll never have an opportunity to buy a fully-furnished business that’s already established,” Pizzoli said. “The day we moved in we had a full house. It was almost a no-brainer.”

The 5,200-square-foot inn at 118 East Middle St. has six-bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms, offers residents homemade breakfast and is walkable to downtown Chelsea restaurants and shopping.

The inn was built around 1878 as the home of Michigan Sen. James Gorman, who grew up near Chelsea, graduated from the University of Michigan and practiced law in Jackson before becoming a state representative and eventually senator.

The home has been a bed and breakfast since 1994 and has had several owners.

Related: Historic Chelsea House Victorian Inn is for sale for $629,900

Pizzoli and Meisner bought it in May 2018, and Pizzoli said the journey has been smooth even during the COVID-19 pandemic, when they had to shift from a sit-down homemade breakfast every morning to a grab-and-go option. The sit-down breakfast, however, is back now.

“It’s so good to hear people in the morning now,” Pizzoli said. “Sometimes they’ll linger and talk to people they never knew before for over an hour. I’ve missed that.”

Breakfast options include baked oatmeal, a fruit parfait and lemon blueberry scones that Pizzoli pairs with her signature dish, a brunch casserole with broccoli and ham, in which the breadcrumb strata has sat overnight to soak up the eggs.

She also offers guests a variety of wines and alcohol provided by Chelsea’s Ugly Dog Distillery.

Related: Michigan distillery gives campfire treat an adult twist with S’Mores bourbon

Since taking over the inn, Pizzoli and Meisner have completely remodeled two bathrooms and installed a new deck, as well as modernizing the front door electronic keypad, while still maintaining the inn’s Victorian features and charm.

Pizzoli’s favorite upgrade, however, was switching all the room keychains from the previous owner.

“All of the keychains were Ohio State,” Pizzoli said. “I want (people) to know I immediately tossed those in the garbage.”

To check availability at, or find out more about Chelsea House Victorian Inn, visit its website.

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