In 1876 Mattheus and Christian Wilkens homesteaded where the manager's house of the Husum Riverside Bed & Breakfast now sits. On March 8, 1880 he opened a post office in his home which he called Wilkensheim. Several German families followed the Wilkens, including Martin Thompson and later that year a town was formed called Husum after Husum, Germany on the North Sea where Mr. Thompson was from. Later, he founded the Husum Power Company which provided electricity to White Salmon and surrounding communities.
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The B&B property served as a stop on the way to Trout Lake, Gilmer and Glenwood. The "Ice House" which still stands, was built in 1881 to serve travelers. The Yakima Republic Newspaper had this to say about Husum. "Husum is a house. It is perched on one side of a precipitous canyon about 500 feet wide. The canyon is in one of the most out-of-the-way parts of the world, and Husum is the exact center of it. A dozen or 20 families eke out an existence in the canyon within as many miles of Husum. Yet the man who lives in the house that is called Husum has made it the best-advertised city in three states. You can't pick up a Portland, Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane or Boise paper which hasn't one or more circumstantial accounts of the mad whirl that is called life in Husum."
In 1902 a hotel was built where the residence now stands called "The Half Way House -The Falls Hotel". In 1905, George W. Carter, Proprietor advertised the hotel in The Hood River Glacier as "The most beautiful spot on the White Salmon River. New house, 20 fine, large rooms, newly furnished. Large feed barn and livery in connection." Mr. Carter was 31 years old at this time. In 1910 this 2 1/2 story hotel was moved a hundred yards south and is now the Wet Planet Rafting Company.
Now, you can enjoy a piece of the past and appreciate the river when you stay at the Husum Riverside Bed & Breakfast. The ice house has been renovated into the reception area and lounge for guests, which opens into our patio cafe and gardens. We hope you enjoy this bit of history as you sip your locally crafted wine or beer.
In May of 2015, the Nice family purchased the Husum Riverside Bed & Breakfast. Each member of the family brings their own distinct abilities to the enterprise, from hospitality and marketing experience to carpentry, cooking, and more. But as much as we love this family business, it is also our home. It is this personal connection that sets us apart in the hospitality industry and makes the Husum BnB an exceptional option to relax, eat, and sleep in the Columbia River Gorge.
Husband and wife, David and Connie Nice, have practiced hospitality their entire married life. They operated an adult foster home, opened their doors to troubled teenagers, and invited people into their home for short or long stays. Early in their marriage they owned a photography studio and bring valuable business experience to this new venture. Connie was very active in the cultural heritage and tourism of the area as the director of the History Museum in Hood River. After retiring from her job with Hood River County, she ventured into the world of writing. Having one book published, she hopes to publish more. Connie cooks amazing breakfasts for the B&B and is active in many day-to-day tasks including office work, cleaning, and community networking. David's career has primarily been in prehospital emergency medical services as a paramedic, a role that has allowed him to venture into teaching on the local and national level. Over the years he has enjoyed remodeling, woodwork, and gardening; skills he uses on a regular basis at the B&B.
Son, Aaron Nice was interested in computers from an early age, which lead to several entrepreneurial ventures as a teenager. After graduating from Columbia High School in White Salmon, he attended Portland Community College and then Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona. Upon moving back to the Pacific Northwest he has worked for over ten years in internet marketing. His technical and marketing background helps the B&B stay connected in this age of social media and global tourism. Aaron married the love of his life in 2017 and moved to Tacoma, however, he stays connected with the BnB.
Daughter Rachel Short and her family are the heart of the business bringing personality and a wide variety of skills to the bed and breakfast. Rachel has worked in accounting for several local companies after graduating with a degree in Business Management. She brings invaluable finance, business, and marketing skills to the B&B. Despite working full time outside the B&B, she provides the evening and weekend check-in as well as assisting with breakfast and cleaning. Rachel's son, little Aaron also plays a vital role in the B&B. He is eager to chat with visitors and is often times the "voice" of the B&B. Aaron attends the Elementary School in Trout Lake and is active in almost everything from musicals to sports to reading. He reminds the rest of us to stay young and always approach situations with a sense of imagination and childlike wonderment.