304 Elmwood Avenue, Maplewood
Fleming Manor, now Les Saisons Bed & Breakfast, was built around 1840. In the 1870s, it was renovated in the fashionable Second Empire style with the addition of an elegant mansard roof, dormers and Italianate elements. Second Empire style was popular during the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant (1869-77) and draws its name from the reign in France of Napoleon III (1852-70). It was considered to be very modern, unlike the concurrent “picturesque” movement, which sought out the romantic past for inspiration in Italianate and Gothic Revival styles.
Fleming Manor sits on an acre of land behind stone columns and an iron gate, surrounded by lush gardens and secluded from the bustle of nearby streets.
According to Fleming family journals and other papers discovered by the Christensen family when they bought the house in 1946, Fleming Manor had been a guesthouse since about 1885. The Christensen family continued the tradition, and son Art and his wife Libby operate Les Saisons Bed & Breakfast today.
Soaring 12-foot ceilings, four marble mantelpieces, and ornate moldings, woodwork and ceiling medallions are features of this house, furnished in high Victorian style. In addition to family papers, the Flemings left museum quality antiques and fine oil paintings, and the living room is graced by a nine-foot 1872 Chickering concert grand piano. Each of the four guest bedrooms is decorated in beautiful fabrics and colors reflecting one of the seasons.