Your Hosts

1810 Emerson House Bed and Breakfast is jointly owned by Tony and Beth Bonasera. Tony has worked in the telecommunications power industry since he graduated in 1979 from the University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign.  Tony also spent time as part-time Realtor and local caterer.  Beth has worked for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program as a nutritionist since 1983 and is a graduate of Northern Illinois Universality.  Beth previously managed a gourmet chocolate shop and sold Park Lane jewelry. Tony and Beth met in a ballroom dance class- it was love at first sight (at least on Tony’s part!).  Three months later they were engaged and 6 months later married in the fall of 1982.  They raised their two sons and daughter in Elgin, IL until they moved in 2015. Their oldest son, along with wife and grandson, live in North Carolina, their daughter and her husband live in the Chicago Bridgeport neighborhood and their youngest son is away at college.  So Tony and Beth are true empty nesters except for Lela, a tabby cat who adores her mistress Beth and only resides in the roomy innkeeper’s quarters. Tony and Beth have always had a knack for hosting and entertaining.  And they always enjoyed the intimacy and fellowship of staying at bed and breakfasts, hoping of one day running their own.  After decades of searching, in 2015 they believe the Lord led them to find a house in Beloit, WI that met all their qualifications for both a bed and breakfast venture and possibly their final home.  Confirmation after confirmation have given them the peace to know that this place was set aside specifically for them.  Come join them as they set out to pamper their guests as only they can! "By the Gilded Age, which was the era in which Samuel Couples lived, through the present day, the pineapple became a familiar symbolic image of welcome, good cheer, and warmth and affection between all who dwell inside the home."
No one was a bigger fan of the pineapple than Virginia's William Byrd. For the James River door next to his impressive home at Westover, in 1730 Byrd ordered a carved door-surround from London. It featured a broken- scroll pediment with a pineapple in its center. Across the river from Westover, Brandon Plantation in Prince George County has a pineapple on the pinnacle of its pyramidal roof. Developed from a 1616 patent covering 7,000 acres on the James River, the site had a long and profitable trade connection with the West Indies, hence the prominence of the tropical pineapple.

Pineapples = Hospitality

The sweetness and unusual appearance of the pineapple made it a sought-after delicacy in colonial America. When it was served to guests, they were naturally flattered at the honor, and thus may have evolved the idea that the pineapple was considered a sign of the highest form of hospitality.  Since 1681, the pineapple has been recognized as a Christian symbol in that each pineapple plant gives its own life to produce a single fruit.  In the 17th century, Christopher Wren began using pineapple finials on churches. Learn More
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Shirley Plantation, begun in 1725, has a geometric pineapple at the apex of its roof. Inside, two doorways feature pineapple woodwork dating from 1771. Over the bedroom door leading to the entry hall is a high-relief pineapple set inside a split pediment. And over the parlor door, is a pineapple between the volutes of a broken scroll. On the dining room mantle rests a silver tea caddy made in London in 1787. Its finial is an ivory pineapple with a little silver crown on top.

The Pineapple in Colonial

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