Historic Revival Wheeler Mansion in Orange becoming bed and breakfast

The Revival Wheeler Mansion on East Main Street in Orange.

The Revival Wheeler Mansion on East Main Street in Orange. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

ABOVE: The parlor off the main entrance.

ABOVE: The parlor off the main entrance. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

The Revival Wheeler Mansion’s main entrance on East Main Street in Orange.

The Revival Wheeler Mansion’s main entrance on East Main Street in Orange. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

A bedroom in the Revival Wheeler Mansion in Orange.

A bedroom in the Revival Wheeler Mansion in Orange. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

A bedroom in the Revival Wheeler Mansion in Orange.

A bedroom in the Revival Wheeler Mansion in Orange. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

By DOMENIC POLI

Staff Writer

Published: 03-24-2024 12:03 PM

ORANGE — No, this is not an April Fool’s Day joke.

The Revival Wheeler Mansion’s bed and breakfast is slated to open with a ribbon-cutting ceremony planned for 4 p.m. on April 1.

“It’s a long time coming,” said owner Cynthia “Sinde” Butler, who purchased the North Quabbin region’s only Gilded Age mansion, sight unseen, in July 2020. “I just wanted to have a memorable day. I want it to be in the spring.”

State Rep. Susannah Whipps, I-Athol, is expected to be on hand at 75 East Main St., as are officers with the North Quabbin Chamber of Commerce. The ground floor will be open after the ribbon-cutting ceremony for mingling with champagne, tea and cookies.

“I hope it goes as well as I anticipate,” she said. “I’m optimistic I’m on the right track.”

Carol Courville, treasurer on the chamber’s board of directors, said she is reworking her schedule in hopes of attending the event.

“I love Sinde. I love what she’s done with the mansion. The chamber had its annual meeting there in December,” she said. “Her renovations are gorgeous.”

Courville said the mansion’s success and its service to the town are “critical to the area.”

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Butler, a California transplant, has for three years butted heads with town officials in regards to permitting and safety code enforcement. She bought the mansion with a dream of creating a successful retreat venue, complete with boutique bar and hedge maze. Butler said the issues with the town are ongoing but she intends to push forward.

“They have not been laid to rest, but [the town] can no longer keep me from working,” she said, “because I learned what the requirements were myself and they were not what they were trying to make me do. They cost me a lot of time and a lot of money, and those will be addressed in the future with the town.”

Selectboard Chair Tom Smith said Butler and the mansion are in complete compliance with Orange.

“The town is looking forward to the ribbon-cutting ceremony and the opening of the Wheeler Mansion,” he wrote in an email.

Butler has previously held community Halloween and Christmas events as well as a paranormal investigation in 2021. She said she has already booked reservations for guests coming to the area for the 2024 Athol-Orange River Rat Race next month. Rooms — some of which have private bathrooms while others have shared bathrooms — cost between $130 and $150 per night.

“I’m very excited about it,” she said.

More information about the mansion, including a link for booking, can be found at revivalwheelermansion.com.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-930-4120.