written by Cara Strickland photography by Stella's Homestead
Even if you’re familiar with Walla Walla, you might not know Waitsburg, its close neighbor. Waitsburg itself is a charming town with dining and lodging to offer, but venture out a little farther into the country and you’ll find Stella’s Homestead, a unique lodging venue and farm stay—the brainchild of Cheryl Hansen, who grew up on the property and returned in 2017 to care for her aging mother, who recently turned 99. Hansen lovingly restored the buildings, which date back to 1947, and brought her love of antiques (and a wealth of treasures she unearthed) to decorating the former outbuildings into cozy cottages and getaways for the weary traveler. While it’s an easy drive to wine tasting and other Walla Walla activities, this spot offers the opportunity to experience a completely different lodging vibe—one well worth the trip.
Choose from several options for your stay. You can cuddle up in the former chicken coop (you can find the original chicken feeders and laying bins repurposed as decor) or get away from it all in Stella’s Shed, complete with a nearby creek and a fire pit. Choose the tiny house, La Casita, as your home away from home (some of the interior touches were taken from the original 1939 home), or tuck yourself away in the lower level of the main house—originally the harvest kitchen.
If you’re bringing a crowd, The Shop might be your spread. One large room is filled with custom adult bunk beds (it sleeps eight), and a long table originally used to feed everyone during harvest.
COMMUNITY AND EVENTS
Craving a farm wedding or family reunion? This might be your place. You can celebrate outdoors, or dance the night away in the barn.
Hansen’s family has always been a big part of the local community, and that certainly hasn’t stopped with Cheryl. She has hosted many events—from a conference dedicated to mushrooms, to a music festival, and, of course, her mother’s ninety-ninth birthday bash. This spring, she collaborated with a fashion show at the Royal Block Hotel, showcasing her mother’s vintage evening dresses from the 1960s and ’70s.
Like all good innkeepers, she has lots of great stories—be sure to ask her to tell a few when you stop in.
2194 S. FORK COPPEI CREEK ROAD