Stony Point Bed and Breakfast to open on North Avenue

Anytime a new business opens in Tyrone, it’s a positive for the community. But when the business is going to keep a grasp on the historical and structural integrity, that makes the project that much more special.
Tyrone residents Peg and Cummins McNitt are doing just that as plans push forward with Stony Point Bed and Breakfast, a new business the couple hopes the community will look at as preserving the important history of the structure, while adding an always needed source of revenue and tourism for the borough.
“This whole thing was really my wife’s idea,” said McNitt. “One morning, we were discussing what we could do in the future when she mentioned it. I thought for two or three minutes before saying ‘Why not.’ At the age of 70, we didn’t want to look back and question why we didn’t do something fun and exciting. Now we’re going to have that opportunity.”
According to McNitt, the couple will incorporate their life experiences into the new establishment, that’s located on 1400 North Ave. in Tyrone in the former Edward Newlin property.
Mr. McNitt was once the director of the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum and has unprecedented ties to the historic community in the area. This alone will bring the nostalgic attitude to the business. Mrs. McNitt, food service director with Huntingdon Area School District, will be responsible for the business portion and food service.
“We’re also going to have our son Dudley (age 12) doing some small, daily chores around the place,” said McNitt. “I’ll act as innkeeper and take care of the day-to-day stuff.”
The home was built in 1920 for Robert Johnston, who occupied the building until it was purchased in 1942 by Edward Newlin. Earlier this year, the McNitt’s closed on the building’s purchase.
“We decided we wanted to name it Stony Point Bed-and-Breakfast because of a natural landmark that sits on the property,” said McNitt. “The people of Tyrone will realize that, just through the naming, we plan to keep things the way they are and not really change the historical integrity of the building.”
But there will be small changes.
“The only major remodeling we’re going to need to do is in the kitchen area,” said McNitt. “We’ll need to install more industrial grade equipment so we can operate as a business.”
The kitchen is located on the first floor of the building, as is a dining room with a chandelier, a library, a grand hallway and a community room with a fireplace and a set of double doorways leading onto a porch.
The second floor will contain five bedrooms and three baths. There’s also a laundry chute.
“We’ll live on the third floor,” said McNitt, “and we intend on be good neighbors.”
Because the building needs minor renovations in some areas, McNitt noted that all work will be contracted locally.
“It’s very important to us that we keep everything pretty much the same as it once was,” said McNitt. “In fact, we have a friend that’s willing to come in an restore the wallpaper that’s been here for at least 50 years.”
McNitt said the furniture inside the building will be a “nice blend” of antique items and modern furniture.
“We’re working on a tight budget, but we’re going to spend locally,” said McNitt. “We’re also blessed that our families have antiques and are willing to part with some of those items to help us along.”
According to McNitt, the Tyrone Zoning Hearing Board recently passed two variances that will allow the family to operate the business in the facility. He said the couple is planning work for the next few months and are hoping for a May or June opening.
A typical stay at Stony Point Bed and Breakfast will consist of registration Friday night. The owners will provide breakfasts (either a scheduled menu-item breakfast or a continental breakfast) on Saturday and Sunday mornings and leave the guests decide what they want to do during the rest of their stay.
“We’re hoping to develop some package deals for our guests that will allow them to tour some of the man historical sites in the area,” said McNitt.
“We think Tyrone is the perfect location for a bed and breakfast,” said McNitt. “We’re going to provide our guests with plenty of room in a very cozy and relaxed atmosphere. We won’t just be open for weekends. We understand that some people will be traveling into the area and want a little better accommodation than a regular hotel room. That’s where we’re going to come in.”
McNitt said this family-oriented business helps bring the much-needed tourism into the area.
“I think Tyrone is well positioned for future growth and can only hope that what we’re trying to do will aid in that,” said McNitt. “We want our guests staying with us, then walking in the downtown and visiting all the shops and stores.
“We’re hoping we promote the area. We really love this community and want to help it in any way that we can.”