The 1861 Inn, a charming and quaint bed and breakfast, has opened in Batavia.
The Inn, which was purchased by Tom and Carole Cottrill when they moved to Batavia from Kansas City, Missouri seven years ago, has all of the 19th century charm combined with all of the many modern comforts that one would expect in a 21st century bed and breakfast.
The Cottrills bought the 1861 Inn, which is nestled on seven acres of wooded land located in the village of Batavia, with the specific intention of opening up a bed and breakfast Inn that resembled the old world charm of similar establishments that they have vacationed in all across Europe, especially Italy.
The home/1861 Inn was built just before the beginning of the Civil War by Julius Augustus Penn, a Clermont County lawyer. He promised his fiance Elizabeth Minor that if she agreed to become his wife, he would build her a home unsurpassed in grandeur and beauty; the Penn estate is the result of that promise.
Cottrill said that records indicate that the building permit was issued in 1855, but it was not until 1861 that a large portion of the home was completed. The timbers, bricks, and glass used in the construction were utilized from materials taken from the land on which it was constructed.
That same year, Augustus Penn organized Company E, 22nd regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Militia to fight the southern rebels in the Civil War. As regiment captain, and later Major of the regiment, Penn experienced heavy fighting in the state of Virginia.
Cottrill said that legend has it that in his absence, General John Morgan's Confederate Raiders came through Batavia, plundering horses, meats, and baked pies, including those on the Penn Estate.
General Morgan is thought to have paid his respects to Elizabeth Penn in person; a painted portrait of Morgan during the raid can be viewed in the 1861 Inn library.
After Lee surrendered to the North in 1866, the home was completed.
Tom Cottrill said that other than the necessary modern conveniences, such as plumbing and heating/air conditioning, the historic home and surrounding out buildings are as they were upon construction.
"The smoke house, out house, ice house, and bank barn still stand as monuments to how things used to be," he said. "We have dedicated ourselves to keeping it that way for our guests to enjoy."
The 1861 Inn, which the innkeepers have carefully restored and impeccably decorated, promises to offer the traveller a serene destination.
The 1861 Inn features two spacious guest rooms (they are working on a third) with private baths, an outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, and an old-fashioned swing.
The common areas, including the library, have fireplaces and comfortable sofas; a complimentary breakfast is included in the rate (Carole Cottrill, a graduate from the Cincinnati Culinary Arts School, does the cooking).
For more information about rates and reservations at the 1861 Inn, located at 300 North Riverside Drive in Batavia, call (513) 735-2466, or visit www.1861inn.com.