Historic home now open as bed and breakfast in Eastern Clark County

Ron Brown talks about the antique furnishings in one of the rooms at Emma’s Bed and Breakfast on East National Road. Bill Lackey/Staff

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Ron Brown talks about the antique furnishings in one of the rooms at Emma’s Bed and Breakfast on East National Road. Bill Lackey/Staff

A historic home in eastern Clark County has a new life as a bed and breakfast.

Ronald Brown has recently opened Emma's Bed and Breakfast on East National Road in a nearly 200-year-old house, named for one of his granddaughters.

“J.M. Cartmell built this family home in 1833 and there have been only five owners since,” Brown said as he walked the kitchen, family and common rooms last week.

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Brown, 68, is an accountant by trade who previously ran a bed and breakfast in London for 16 years

A little more than a year ago, Brown was driving along East National Road and saw a for sale sign on the property. Brown met Edie Cox, 72, who wanted to move into a condo with her small dog and sell the house she had occupied for over three decades. Her hope, she shared with Brown was to have the historic house turned into a bed and breakfast.

“I meet her and she told me her story and I said, ‘You have to be kidding.’ This was perfect,” Brown said.

The house is full of antique chairs and tables, and five bedrooms that are named after his other granddaughters. Each is equipped with cable TV and mini-fridges. Rates range from $132 to $175 depending on the night and room.

The inn sits on more than nine acres that includes a stream and trees. Brown said that some guests have to be reminded that modern amenities aren’t far.

“I tell them don’t worry there is a Walmart about a mile away,” he said.

Megan Hane, an assistant to Brown, said the property’s history is important to people in the area. For years the property was home to the Weider Tea Room.

“A community staple, this tea room saw an influx of visitors throughout the warmer months, and then closed down for the winter,” Hane said.

Maxine Murphy, 92, who operated the tea room for 30 years was on hand for a recent ribbon cutting, according to Brown.

Brown and Hane discussed one of the unique places on the property. It has a “widow’s walk,” a small, fenced-in area on the roof.

“The house’s original inhabitants might have been running up to the roof to watch the road for incoming visitors,” Hane said. “Having been built right on the National Road, Route 40, the Cartmell family would have seen an abundance of travelers heading out west in their stagecoaches, and perhaps the Cartmell children would have been the first to run to greet the new visitors.”

Cox still lives in Springfield and often visits the bed and breakfast and Brown is glad that she’s able to see how the property is progressing.

For more information call 937-505-3602 or email info@emmasbb.com.

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