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Kristine Guido is turning a large white house that's been in her family for four generations into Colonial Beach's newest bed and breakfast.
River Terra Retreat was built in 1911. Patrick O'Toole, Kristine Guido's great-grandfather, bought it in 1920.
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By Cathy Jett
The house and its outbuildings, which include a cottage and garage, fell into disrepair after their deaths, and children threw stones at the windows.
Guido's link with the place begins with her great-grandfather, who purchased it in 1920. Patrick O'Toole had emigrated from Ireland when he was 14. He worked as a bricklayer until he earned enough to purchase a livery stable in Georgetown. He married and, as a widower, raised two daughters. One was Guido's grandmother, Florence Cator.
O'Toole and Florence's husband, Charles Cator, eventually decided to turn the Colonial Beach house into a real home. They painted it white, refinished the doors, expanded the kitchen, repaired the two fireplaces and enclosed a side porch to make a bedroom.
The Cators moved there full time in the 1950s, and often brought O'Toole there for visits. Their six daughters, their friends and husbands liked to eat hard-shelled crabs in the dining room and roll up the downstairs rugs so they could dance.
Guido, the Cators' granddaughter, took over the house in the 1980s. She renovated the upper floor in 2007, adding more bedrooms, bathrooms, central air conditioning, two more fireplaces and a balcony.
Today the house has a master suite upstairs with a sitting room, private bath and access to a porch. The other bedroom upstairs also has a private bath, but the two downstairs bedrooms share one.
Guido plans to have the website for her new venture, riverterraretreat.com, up and running by mid-January. Prices will vary depending on what special services guests want, but they will be competitive, she said.
She may be reached now by emailing rtr@riverterra
Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407