Historic Clark County home becomes unique wedding venue

Partington Spring House after a snowfall. Photo courtesy of Partington Spring House
Partington Spring House after a snowfall. Photo courtesy of Partington Spring House

A delightful corner of Mad River Twp. has blossomed into a unique outdoor wedding venue, outdoor photography set, and overnight accommodation.

This historic stone home known as Partington Spring House is tucked in close to the limestone cliffs and under a canopy of mature trees on the southern edge of Clark County near Yellow Springs.

Located at 4690 South Tecumseh Road the venue is easy to miss if you are driving south from Greenon High School. For just a few hundred feet the tree-lined road descends through a rock walled curve into the valley of Mud Run. Partington Spring House is located next to the cliffs on the left. On the other hand, visitors approaching from Yellow Springs are treated to a lovely panorama of the cliff backed venue.

In 2017 Beavercreek residents Gabrielle Dent and Rebekah Thompson of Flash Photography Studios were looking for a historical house to use for an outdoor wedding venue and photography site. They fell in love with it at first sight.

“Reminds me of Hocking Hills in your backyard,” said Gabrielle Dent.

It turned out that the property had a history as fascinating as it was picturesque.

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The rock cliffs run the entire length of the property featuring the locally familiar layers of Cedarville, Springfield and Euphemia dolomitic limestone. A natural spring flows constantly from the cliff into a pond and eventually into scenic Mud Run. The water never freezes and even in the winter the watercress along the stream is still green.

Before this area was settled this section of South Tecumseh Road was a part of the Bullskin Trace. It connected the Shawnee villages near Xenia and Peckuwe located at George Rogers Clark Park. Along that trail Tecumseh, Black Hoof, Simon Kenton, Daniel Boone, and George Rogers Clark are known to have traveled. I imagine they drank from that spring.

Built of limestone from the adjacent cliff, the house looks much younger than its 170 years. Photo courtesy of Partington Spring House
Built of limestone from the adjacent cliff, the house looks much younger than its 170 years. Photo courtesy of Partington Spring House

At a time early in Clark County history, a paper mill was constructed at the site of the spring. James Partington purchased the mill around 1839 and converted it to a woolen mill. He and his wife Mary raised eight children in the three-story stone house he built near the mill using rocks from the cliff next to it.

The exterior of the house still looks much as it did back then.

With simplicity and comfort in mind, Dent and Thompson decorated the house interior as a refuge that embraces the natural beauty of the location. The kitchen and bathrooms had already been updated, so the two businesswomen made the most of the original woodwork and floors. Antiques and comfortable furniture completed the look and a natural stone fireplace sets the mood.

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Planned as a wedding venue the house has a set of private rooms perfect for the bride and her attendants to prepare. The deep pocketed windows offer a view of wedding preparations. The gentlemen’s dressing room is on the main floor and above a waiting area on the bottom floor that resembles a secret tavern with wooden barrels and rock walls.

The bridal suite has a lovely view of the grounds and a clawfoot bathtub.  Pam Cottrel/Contributed
The bridal suite has a lovely view of the grounds and a clawfoot bathtub. Pam Cottrel/Contributed

The property has six acres much of it wooded and a large lawn that is perfect for a reception tent if the bride and groom choose.

Evening travelers on Tecumseh Road often get to share in the enchantment as they see fairy lights in the trees and lining the paths back to the spring.

Over the last four years weddings have taken place all over the property with imaginations and size of the guest list determining the best locations.

The ladies said that they have eight to 10 weddings a year with sizes ranging from less than 10 to as many as 125. Most of the weddings take place in September and October, but other months are being considered.

Because of the cliffs the parking is limited. A parking agreement with nearby Young’s Dairy made it possible for a shuttle to

A view of the spring and cliffs from the window of the bridal suite at Partington Spring House. Photo courtesy of Partington Spring House
A view of the spring and cliffs from the window of the bridal suite at Partington Spring House. Photo courtesy of Partington Spring House

deliver wedding guests to the venue.

Even though Thompson and Dent have two photography studios at The Green and Liberty Center, Flash Photography Studios, they enjoys taking senior and family photos along the cliffs, spring, and greenery at Partington Spring House.

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During the rest of the year Partington Spring House is an Air B & B, housing up to eight guests overnight.

According the Dent and Thompson, guests are attracted by the peacefulness and nature. There are myriad birds, and woodland creatures to watch and the sounds of the running spring are soothing.

“It is very quiet,” said Thompson. “Another world.”

The stone steps and pathways back to the natural spring and pond invite guests to leave the modern world and worries behind. A fire pit at the far end of the cliff is a favorite spot of visitors and the music of the spring water is indeed magical.

Being located only 3.8 miles from Yellow Springs and its hiking trails, near the bike trails and Young’s Dairy makes this accommodations very popular for long weekends, reunions, birthdays, weeklong retreats and escapes from Covid stress. It is social distancing at its finest.

For information on this venue please check out Partington Spring House on Facebook or www.partingtonspringhouse.com.

Preserving an historic building and remarkable geologic and water formations makes Partington House a genuine asset to our community. The venue has adjusted well to Covid 19 rules and provides yet another needed venue in our community for events and overnight stays. It truly is a treasure.

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