Greencrest Manor was constructed as the private home for one of Battle Creek's most prominent residents. George R. Burt, son of Michigan lumber baron Wellington R. Burt, who came to Battle Creek to pursue a business career. He and his new wife, Nellie Zinn from Lafayette, Indiana, vowed to build a home on their favorite picnic spot, overlooking St. Mary's Lake.
In the course of purchasing the property, Burt passed away. His widow fulfilled their dream by completing the structure in the authentic French-Normandy style and surrounding it with extensive formal gardens.
In the early 1960s, the estate was purchased by the Catholic Church and for nearly 20 years it was used as a seminary. The estate was then sold, and the subsequent series of owners allowed the property to fall into disrepair.
In 1987 the estate was purchased by its present owners, Tom and Kathy VanDaff, who dedicated themselves to returning the property to its former glory. Two years of careful renovations followed. At last, in the spring of 1989, the property proudly reopened in its current role as a bed and breakfast.