RESTORING VEVAY HISTORY: Vevay Swiss Inn owner Ronald Hocker and his daughter, inn manager Stacy Street, show off the front balcony of the bed and breakfast which they are renovating. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/
RESTORING VEVAY HISTORY: Vevay Swiss Inn owner Ronald Hocker and his daughter, inn manager Stacy Street, show off the front balcony of the bed and breakfast which they are renovating. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/
Many Switzerland County residents have long-time memories of an inn at the corner of Ferry and Main streets in Vevay.

Though the business on the northeast corner of the intersection changed names several times over the years, one thing remained constant - the building served as a place for travelers to stay while passing through Vevay and Switzerland County.

The building's new owner, Ronald Hocker, and his daughter, Stacy Streett, plan to continue that tradition with the opening of the Vevay Swiss Inn.

Earlier this year, Hocker purchased the building which had been empty for a while. The former Belmark Inn closed last year and most everything in the building had been sold.

"This one was kind of an eyesore," Hocker said, but he and Streett had a vision.

They wanted to renovate and open the location as a bed and breakfast like it had been since the early 1800s.

Streett had been looking to relocate back to the area with her family anyway, and the purchase of the building allowed her to make the move from Indianapolis.

She plans to oversee the day-to-day operations at the inn.

"The last thing we wanted to do is buy an old building and leave it empty," Streett said.

The building has a long history dating back more than 200 years. The inn was built in the 1800s as the three-story LeClerc House. The location was known for its candles, that allowed guests to find their rooms after dark, and the owner's French cooking, Streett said.

Then in the early 1900s, the building caught fire and burned down.

Streett found where several area merchants helped to rebuild the inn after the fire, and it continued to operate off and on as an inn and restaurant or bed and breakfast until 2012.

"I'm trying to put the history (of the building) together," she said. "There's a lot of neat history."

Streett and Hocker chose to honor the building's long past by naming their business the Vevay Swiss Inn.

"It was the Swiss Inn when I was growing up," Streett said. "In my mind, it's always been the Swiss Inn even though it had different names."

Several other area residents remember the inn throughout the years as well. Nearly 20 people have already stopped by to share stories of their own relatives owning the inn, or to share memories of working in the previous restaurants or bakeries. Others remember attending parties or events on the patio in the back.

"There's a lot of good memories back there," Streett said of the patio that used to be a beer garden.

The space will again be opened again for gatherings, but Hocker and Streett aren't sure when that might be. They're taking it one step at a time.

"It's not all going to be open this year," Hocker said.

The first phase of the project was the renovation of the rooms. Contractors updated the building and rewired the inn for more modern conveniences, like wireless Internet capabilities and smart television systems.

During the last few months, Streett and her friend, Andrea Kappes, began looking for furnishings for the 10-room bed and breakfast.

"I'm not a decorator," Streett said. "I'm a librarian."

Kappes found several pieces she deemed "eclectic and retro" that matched Streett's tastes.

The Vevay Swiss Inn has only been open for weekend guests since the end of June, but the inn should be open throughout the week for guests beginning in August.

Work has already begun on phase two of the project, which includes the kitchen and dining room that should be open for guests in time for the Swiss Wine Festival.

A rented space for events and gatherings might be added during a third phase of the project later on.

Right now, Streett works to prepare the inn's reservation website,, and get used to the duties that come with her new job.

"I didn't know I was going to become a tour guide," Streett said, noting she often gives suggestions for restaurants and things to do around the area.

Yet the switch from school librarian to innkeeper seems to be working out so far.

"It's kind of a tranquil life," she said. "So far, everybody's been great."