Story last updated at 8/20/2014 - 8:40 pm
Christie and Bruce Jamieson love stories.
It doesn't matter if they're the ones telling them - just ask about Bali - or if they're the ones hearing them. It's all about experiencing something new.
On Aug. 1, Bruce and Christie opened Squawking Raven B&B, the newest place for visitors to stay in Wrangell.
From their wood-walled home about a quarter-mile from the center of town, the pair of longtime Wrangell residents see their new business as a way to collect new experiences while helping improve their town's economy.
"We've had people show us hospitality, but we also want to show the Alaskan hospitality," Bruce said.
"It's exciting because we get to share stories," Christie said.
This new business is a story is one the couple will share with each other as well as their visitors. Christie worked as the Wrangell city clerk for 32 years before retiring, while Bruce worked as a carpenter for 35 years. "Bruce and I wanted to do a project together as husband and wife," Christie explained.
During a visit in late July, their partnership was on display as Christie prepared rooms following the departure of some guests from the Netherlands. Bruce was at work in another of the home's bedrooms, finishing the renovation needed to turn the house into a bed and breakfast.
From Zimovia Highway, the Squawking Raven looks like the bow of a wooden ship preparing to sail onto the highway. Large, angled walls contain windows that look toward the ocean.
On the building's bottom floor are a pair of guest bedrooms, bathrooms and the kitchen. On the second floor is the Jamiesons' space.
The name Squawking Raven comes from Wrangell's ubiquitous birds. To promote the name, the Jamiesons approached Tracy Churchill of Southeast & Promotion. Churchill came up with a design featuring two ravens facing each other, backdropped by a full moon. The ravens' beaks are open, as if they are embracing, and the resulting shape forms a heart. "It was a project between me and my husband, so it was perfect," Christie said.
Turning a home into a business took more work than the couple initially thought.
"Opening this new business, it's going to be trial and error," Christie explained. "It was exciting at first, but it was just like - I'm tired! We have everything in hand now, though."
The pair welcomed their first guests in July, ahead of their official opening: A father and son from the Netherlands, plus some Alaskans visiting Wrangell.
The Dutch visitors shared photos and stories from a trip to South Africa, and Christie and Bruce reciprocated with stories of their own. It's exactly what they had in mind when they started, Christie said.
"We like to open our doors to people who like to share their stories," she said.
Bruce and Christie anticipate keeping their doors open through the summer - Christie works in the Alaska Capitol during the legislative session - and plan to continue improving their service in time for the next tourist season.
"It's exciting starting a new business, and I think we're in it for the long haul," Christie said.
Squawking Raven B&B
612 Zimovia Hwy., Wrangell
Rates $105/$110 per night plus taxes