The exterior of the
Country retreat is seen on Tuesday afternoon in
Germantown. The bed and breakfast on a portion of a farm
homestead from 1847 opened in December 2016.
John Ehlke/Daily News
GERMANTOWN — A cozy retreat for a single night, weekend
or extended getaway in Washington County is closer than
you think. Matt and Laura Schmitz opened The Country
Retreat on the historic Knetzger Family Farm in December
“We’ve had positive results and great comments from
those who have stayed here over the past year. Many have
said it’s like coming back to a home rather than to a
hotel,” said Laura. “We were booked more than 75 percent
of the time during the first year.”
said the farm, which has been homesteaded since 1842,
was exactly what they were looking for.
“There is the log home and then two later additions to
the home that are not constructed of logs,” Matt said.
“We purchased the home in 2016 after we were married in
February. It wasn’t built for a retreat. We renovated it
to make it useable for that purpose.
us it was an opportunity. We had this place that had the
additional space. The layout was such with a minimal
amount of remodeling we were able to make half of the
house into this private retreat,” Matt said. “It is
enjoyable to share what we have here with other people.
Part of it is the experience.”
of the two additions of the house was renovated for use
as the extended stay space. That section of the house is
about 15 years old and can be used by as many as seven
people at a time. They have had a family of five stay
for about three weeks.
have the newer amenities there that they need, however
we have furnished it to look a little more historic and
we still have the ambiance that they are out on the old
historic farm,” Laura said. “We tell people to just
‘bring their groceries’ because that’s really about all
that you need to stay here. They cook their own meals.
If they want to meet with us that’s great, but we want
to allow people that privacy. If they want to be alone
that’s great, too.”
couple said the people who stay at The Country Retreat
are able to walk the property. “We have a lot of people
who just wander around the 10 acres we live on,” Laura
said they want visitors to really have a farm
have chickens and other stuff around here that helps
provide the feeling. We also have eggs now and again,”
Matt said. “It’s the peaceful, small hobby farm kind of
Laura said the couple married in February 2016 and came
back from the wedding and began looking for the right
historical property so they could begin their dream.
grabbed a Washington County map and drove all around on
the weekends scouring the county looking for a
fieldstone home or a log home,” Laura said. “We just
wanted something old and beautiful that we could
refinish and this was a dream running into something
said once they found the right location it took about
three “intensive” months to renovate the house so they
could open for business.
and Laura said The Country Retreat is close to many
attractions, ideal for couples, families, girls weekends
or business travel.
“People visit the local areas including the Kettle
Moraine and Milwaukee,” Matt said. “We have people that
just come up from Chicago for a stay.”
Laura said they’ve had several business travelers.
“We’ve do have one business traveler who will stay one
day a week,” Laura said. “He will come from Madison.
knew we wanted to be on a historic property,” Laura
said. “This is just one of those bucket list dreams that
happened a lot faster than we expected.”