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Historic Bear House 1890 (Johnson Retreat) Perfect Location! Charming St Elmo!

Bedrooms 4
Space 2,200 sq ft
Property type apartment
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

4 BR, 2.5 BA, Close to Everything, First Class Property

The best of everything! Refined luxury, detailed amenities, large beautiful property. Walk to local restaurants, shops, grocery store, hiking and biking trails, tourist attractions. Less than 4 miles from Aquarium, all downtown, mountain and waterfront activities.

Be sure to check out our other apts located here at The Bear House 1890 property!

Wheland Wing, 2 BR 1 BA, #1021450

Workman Wing, 2 BR 1 BA, #1021491

Stinson Suite, 2 BR 2 BA, #1076824

Lilly’s Loft, 1 BR 1 BA, #1324077

Sherfey Suite, 1 BR, 1 BA, #1172405

The spacious and bright Johnson Retreat includes the entire 2nd story of The Bear House (Wheland Wing and Workman Wing combined into one large space, 2200 square feet):

• Front and back private entrance.

• High quality, fully equipped kitchen for your cooking and dining needs with gas stove, dishwasher, microwave, refrigerator and washer and dryer. Small appliances include toaster, mixer, crock-pot and electric tea kettle. The basics are kept stocked for your convenience: paper towels, garbage bags, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, foils and plastic wrap, salt and pepper, spices, olive oil, canola oil, sugar.

• Living room with ample seating, game table, games, smart HDTV with Cable, Amazon Prime and Netflix.

• Resource center with writing desk, office supplies and reading corner.

• 2 Hospitality Centers with microwave, small refrigerator, Keurig with well stocked variety of coffee, teas and hot chocolate and related condiments, fresh fruit, chocolates, some breakfast items and snacks.

• 2 Dining areas for 4. Additional seating areas.

• 1 King bedroom, smart HDTV with Cable, Amazon Prime and Netflix, WiFi, ceiling fan with remote, luxury bedding and linens, full length mirror, luggage racks, water bottles, bedside radio/clock with 2 outlets and 2 ports for charging your devices.

• 3 Queen bedrooms, each with smart HDTV with Cable, Amazon Prime and Netflix, high speed WiFi, ceiling fan with remote, luxury bedding and linens, full length mirror, luggage rack, water bottles, bedside radio/clock with 2 outlets and 2 ports for charging your devices.

• 2 Full size bathrooms with large original soaking tubs, custom tile work, luxury towels and amenities, hair dryer.

• 1 Original shower room and dressing room, beautifully renovated with custom tile work, luxury towels and amenities.

Our spacious property offers many opportunities for gathering spaces outdoors. The large old-fashioned front porch, courtyard garden and gazebo are wonderful spots for morning coffee, a special evening meal, or a place to relax in a comfortable chair with a good book. The special garden areas and larger outdoor seating areas provide additional space for your enjoyment. Be sure to explore the carved bears placed around the property and hear their story! In the spring and summer, help yourself to the blackberries and small vegetable garden bounty. And don’t miss the scavenger hunt; over 40 sculptured animals roam the property for you to find.

Centrally located in Chattanooga and the trendy St Elmo Historic District, our beautiful historic home provides the perfect accommodations to create a truly memorable experience. Pampered with on-site attention you’ll feel taken care of from your first inquiry until the end of your stay, whether it is a short trip or a few months. With over 25 years experience in the rental property business, we specialize in a broad spectrum of lodging needs, from quick getaways, to out of town family and friends, to corporate rentals and short term housing needs.

More Details

Steve and Sharman Sherfey
Member since: 2017
Premier Partner

This VRBO partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great guest experience.

Speaks: english
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
August 19, 2018

About Steve and Sharman Sherfey

The Bear House is a beautifully restored 6,900 square foot house built in 1890. We have lived here for 25 years, raising our four children and enjoying this small community (St Elmo) within the city. Our long-term plan has been to share this special property as a B&B/Short Term Rental when we retired.

We opened as The Bear House in March of 2017. It has been a truly special year and brought great joy sharing The Bear House and meeting so many wonderful guests.

Steve and I live on the 1st floor of the house, which is completely separate from the 2nd story listings as well as the basement/lower level listing. In addition, we have the Carriage House with 2 listings. We are proud of The Bear House and think you will have a wonderful stay!

Steve and Sharman Sherfey purchased this apartment in 1992


St. Elmo Improvement League Apartment Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • apartment
  • floor 2
Building Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2200 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • Max. adults: 8
  • Min. age of primary renter: 25
  • Children welcome ...
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Downtown ...
  • Mountain View ...
  • Village ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Spa
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 3 - toilet , combination tub/shower , Renovated, custom tile work, original large soaking tub.
    Bathroom 1 - toilet , tub , Renovated, custom tile work, original large soaking tub.
    Bathroom 2 - shower , Renovated, original walk-in shower and dressing room.
  • All the bathrooms are renovated with high end fixtures and stocked with amenities. The bear art work tile was custom made by an artist in California.
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 king , Space for a pack and play for baby which we can provide.
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 3 - 1 queen , Space for a pack and play for baby which we can provide.
    Bedroom 4 - 1 queen
  • Each bedroom has large Smart HDTV with Amazon and Netflix, ceiling fan with remote, high end furnishings, luxury bedding and linens, radio/clock with 2 outlets and 2 ports.
  • Games
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Television ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Onsite Services:
  • Concierge
  • Staff
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • synagogues
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • miniature golf
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • pier fishing
  • rock climbing
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(27 traveler reviews)

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Historic Bear House 1890 (Johnson Retreat) Perfect Location! Charming St Elmo!
average rating of 4.962963 based on 27 reviews
Williamsburg, Virginia

Wonderful Stay at the Bear House!

  • 5 of 5

We had such a wonderful time staying at the Bear House! Sharman and Steve were incredible hosts that were easy to communicate with prior to check-in and so lovely to chat with throughout the weekend. We rented the apartments upstairs, and it was the perfect space for three couples and two kids. We had plenty of space for everyone, and the beds are so comfortable!

The location is also perfect - so close to downtown and within walking distance to great restaurants. We strongly recommend 1885 cafe and Mojo Burrito.

If you are debating whether to stay here or not, STOP, go book it right now!

  • Submitted: Sep 29, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Beautiful home

  • 5 of 5

We loved our time here! Maintained lovely property, and thoughtful amenities. Would recommend to anyone!

  • Submitted: Aug 7, 2018
  • Stayed: July 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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Perfect location for us & we all loved it!

  • 5 of 5

I have nothing bad to say. It was fantastic! We will definitely stay again if we all go back. Great host. Great beds. So many little extras that add up, like the candy, supplies to cook with, soaps, & more. We just loved it. Thanks so much.

  • Submitted: Jul 1, 2018
  • Stayed: June 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Titusville FL

Hospitality at its best!

  • 5 of 5

The four bedrooms in the upstairs of the Bear House are wonderful! Comfortable, clean, freshly decorated with quality linens and towels, with so many thoughtful details from our hosts--we all loved our family wedding weekend in Chattanooga. The outdoor space is beautifully planted and maintained with plenty of sitting areas. Thank you Sharman for sharing your gift of hospitality in each of the units on your property. I highly recommend staying here!

  • Submitted: Jun 18, 2018
  • Stayed: June 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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EVERYTHING you need!!

  • 5 of 5

This will definitely be the “go to” place for us in the future. Sharman and Steve are wonderful hosts. We stayed in the Bear House for a weekend road bike ride over the first weekend of May, 2018. Sleeps 8 and we had 8. There is plenty of room for everyone, and the candy, coffee, and fruit made us extremely happy and made us feel at home. The Bear house is the entire upper floor of a circa 1886 home, and is beautifully remodeled. It has a fully functional kitchen and all linens are provided and are of good quality. We WILL BE BACK. Thanks for a wonderful place to stay to add to a memorable weekend.

  • Submitted: May 13, 2018
  • Stayed: May 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Great house, great hosts, great location.

  • 5 of 5

We stayed at Bear House for 2 nights over spring break. The house and grounds are beautiful - 8 of us (4 adults, 4 kids) easily fit. To say this house is charming is an understatement - it's got a ton of character. It's well-equipped with everything you need, down to toiletries from a local shop - and it is clean and extremely well-kept. There are several outdoor seating areas in the yard for hanging out. Sharman and Steve are gracious hosts and can fill you in on the history of the house and the area. This house is in the St Elmo neighborhood of Chattanooga, right at the base of Lookout Mountain - it's close to everything in town (every place we went to was within a 10-min drive - driving and parking in Chattanooga is really easy) and within walking distance of some great restaurants in the St Elmo business district and the south end of the riverside bike path (the bike path is fabulous and not to be missed). We hope to make it back to Chattanooga one day and will definitely stay here if we do!

  • Submitted: Apr 1, 2018
  • Stayed: March 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
14 Miles
CHA (Chattanooga)
Nearest Barpub
1 Miles
1885 Grill
Nearest Golf
6 Miles
Moccasin Bend Gold Club
Nearest Train
3 Miles
Chattanooga Choo Choo
Nearest Restaurant
1 Miles
1885 Grill, Mojo Burrito, Purple Daisy, Mr T's


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning fee $100

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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