Missouri Travel: Ozark Highlands Farm, Sterling Cottage

Last weekend we stayed in Thirties, an apartment on a working farm in Carthage, Missouri.

It was my first Airbnb rental and I have to say the experience was wonderful.

The details and care the owner, Merre (pronounced Mary), has put into the property and rentals is exceptional.

I love details. Details are everything and I take notice of everything I see – or don’t see. She has hit the nail on the head with her property. She has missed nothing.

The rental we stayed in was part of Sterling Cottage, a home that Merre has renovated into several apartments she offers for rent on Airbnb.

Going into the Airbnb experience, I was expecting a very cold, business like transaction. I was wrong, at least when it came to Merre.

As we pulled up to the cottage, she greeted us herself. I immediately noticed her sincerity. I can read people like books, and I could tell the kind of person she was immediately. She is definitely in the business for the people, not the money. It’s obvious she loves to spread joy by sharing her space.

This is a working farm, and it is oh so charming in every way.

She showed us around the property and let my children hold the kittens she has on the farm. There were chickens, too. My kids loved that.

When I entered the apartment I was IN LOVE. From the antique stove and mid-century chairs, to the polished cement floors it was like walking back in time.

I have an affinity for antiques and vintage items, so I was like a pig in mud.

It was very well designed. Many people try, but not everyone can pull of that “look”.

It was very clean too. That was just a bonus.

Merre told me that Thirties used to be a hair salon. It was hard to believe until I saw the before photos. The renovations she has completed are remarkable.

Oh, and the bathroom. If I could pack up a bathroom and take it home I would choose this one. Those floors and sink! (The vanity she designed and built, how cool is that?)

The sunset was awesome – and so was the yard art. You’re welcome.

In the morning we had fresh eggs and some of the homemade bread Merre had left for us. She left cookies too, but those didn’t last the first night.

Fresh eggs from the chickens on the farm!

After breakfast the kids went outside and fed the chickens with Merre. She was so awesome with the children the whole time. I worry about taking them to some places because they are rambunctious but she made it comfortable. She truly is like your favorite aunt you can’t wait to go visit every summer.

Dannie and Merre feeding the chickens.

We went out sightseeing that day and grilled steaks that evening while the kids played with the toys Merre provided.

Everything you could ever want or need is on site.

We had a fire and roasted marshmallows. It was a wonderful time.

The sunsets out there are amazing. I just had to say that again so I could share this photo:

I was sad to leave the next morning, but we plan to return soon.

The property is amazing, but what makes it so is really Merre herself. I love creative, positive, caring people and she fits that bill to a tee. Her love for the property and the personal touches she provides shows who she is as a person.

Though our meeting was a business arrangement, I am truly glad to have met such a person and have been blessed to spend time at this beautiful sanctuary.

If you’re ever near Carthage or Joplin, I highly recommend staying here. You will not regret it!



  1. Amanda,
    It was lovely having you and your family here- thank you for your very kind comments and great photos!
    Your writing gift has touched me and knowing you even a little through your posts and while you were here, is a treasure.
    I look forward to having you all back anytime!


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