Strange Bedfellows

Strange Bedfellows

Not everyone's American ancestors lived in a house. Catch some shut-eye in one of these unusual historical lodgings.

Not everyone’s American ancestors lived in a house. Catch some shut-eye in one of these unusual historical lodgings.
 
• Do you have American Indians or pioneers in your past? The AYH Ranch Hostel <www.vashonhostel.com> on Vashon Island off Washington’s shore offers adventurous folks a chance to rest in reconstructed canvas tepees or authentic covered wagons. One wagon once hauled ammunition at Fort Lewis; another carried grain.

• Seafaring great-uncle? Stay at the 1873 East Brother Light Station <www.ebls.org>, perched on an island (accessible only by boat) in the straits between San Francisco and San Pablo bays. Guests stay in the lighthouse itself or the adjacent fog-signal building, and can enjoy gourmet meals and island tours.

• Black sheep in the family? At the Jailhouse Inn Bed and Breakfast <www.jailhouseinn.com> in Preston, Minn., you can spend a night behind bars in an old jail. Rooms feature queen-size beds and whirlpool tubs, and friendly “wardens” serve up gourmet breakfasts — not exactly your typical night in the slammer.

• Dad served in the war? Fly (or drive) to the Hangar Hotel <www.hangarhotel.com> in Fredericksburg, Texas, to celebrate the glory days of aviation. A 1940s reproduction hangar houses period rooms, an observation deck and Officers Club. The nearby Airport Diner serves up more 1940s décor and old-fashioned food.

• Railroading in your blood? The Red Caboose Getaway <www.redcaboosegetaway.com> in Sequim, Wash., offers overnight “passengers” private caboose lodgings. Elegant breakfasts are just a few steps away in a 1937 Zephyr dining car.

• Is Miller your name — or the family industry? The Silvermine Tavern <www.silverminetavern.com> in Norwalk, Conn., offers stays in a Colonial-era inn overlooking a 17th-century mill, waterfall and mill pond.
 
From the July 2008 Family Tree Magazine

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