Friday, January 24, 2020

Art in the Heart of State College

State College, Pennsylvania is located an easy 90-minute drive from the area in which I live, so I manage to get there fairly often. Downtown State College, surrounded by bars, restaurants and retail establishments is always bustling and as such, is a fun area to visit nearly any time of the year.

Last weekend my husband and I decided to take advantage of a long holiday weekend for a quick overnight getaway to the area to enjoy a change of scenery. The weather may not have been the best, but the sun did pop out from behind the clouds on occasion.

State College sign
Downtown State College is replete with shops, restaurants and taverns.
A Short History of the Pennsylvania State University

Old Main
"Old Main" dates back  to 1863.

So many people from my area are PSU graduates, including my husband and me, so we're familiar with the history of the college, but those who are not are often surprised to learn that it started out as a farmer's college with a 200-acre gift from iron master and gentleman farmer James Irvin of Bellefonte. Fun fact: seven Bellefonte natives went on to serve as Governors.You can learn more about them here.

In the 1880's, under the leadership of President George W. Atherton, the college expanded its curriculum to include engineering, the sciences, the liberal arts and more.

The Palmer Museum of Art

Palmer Museum of Art
The Palmer Museum of Art
Our goal on this visit was to see something we hadn't seen in the past, so we researched the area and discovered an art museum that fit the bill. Better yet, it was free and open to the  public.

The Palmer Museum of Art is located at the northern end of the PSU campus. We parked downtown and plugged the meter, then hiked about a mile up the hill past Old Main. If this sounds daunting, closer parking is available for $1 an hour at the Nittany and East Parking decks.

The museum opened its doors to the public in 1972 and was later renamed to honor James and Barbara Palmer, Penn State benefactors who initiated an expansion campaign with a $2 million gift in 1986.

Today, the museum houses approximately 7,000 works ranging from American and European paintings, to drawings, photographs, prints and sculpture, ceramics, glass art and more. Below are a few examples of what visitors will see in the collection.

Art glass by Chihuly and others
(r-l) Dale Chihuly, Peacock Blue and Yellow Sea Foam Set, 1995, Sidney Hunter, Quasi Modern #4, 1997, Harvey Littleton, Amber Mobile Arc, 1982, Dale Chihuly, Tiger, Piccolo, Venetian, 1994
Glass teapot by Janie Miltenberger
Janie Miltenberger, Tea Garden, 1958
Artist Unknown, 7-10th century, Chinese
When I spotted the artwork below, I guessed that it was a piece painted under a government program that was created during the Depression. Once you see a few of these works, they become easier to spot. I had previously viewed a few similar pieces displayed in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

This fresco on cement painted by Reginald Marsh is called "Gathering the Mail" and was created under the Treasury Relief Art Project for a post office in Washington, DC.

This museum focuses on American art, but there is also an intensely interesting gallery of Italian Baroque paintings on the 2nd floor.
David with the head of Goliath
Girolamo Forabasco, David with the Head of Goliath, 1650.

Sacrifice of Jephthah's Daughter
Pietro della Veechia, Sacrifice of Jephthah's Daughter, 1650.

A Future Expansion
According to the Centre Daily Times, the Palmer Museum of Art will eventually expand into a new building. Just last May, an architect was hired for the $71 million dollar project. The structure will range between 68,000-73,000 square feet and will be located at the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens and Arboretum. Work is expected to be completed by 2023. According to Director Erin Coe, one of the key goals will be accessibility, with the front entry of the museum prioritizing pedestrian and vehicle access.

The public will be able to continue visiting the current museum for the next several years before the collection is ultimately moved.

Accommodations and Eats

During our visit, we stayed at the Carnegie Inn and Spa, a 20-room boutique hotel located approximately one mile from the university. I didn't take the time to avail myself of the services there, but did enjoy the wild mushroom and goat cheese ravioli with a Parmesan cream sauce at
Grace, their onsite restaurant. The portion was small, but the dish was rich and delicious.

Ravioli and cream sauce
Wild mushroom and goat cheese ravioli with a Parmesan cream sauce.
One other food item that is not to be missed is a very special carrot cake. When I visited downtown State College a few years ago, I indulged and had to do a bit of research to once again track it down. I discovered that the name of the business is Saint's Cafe at 123 W. Beaver Avenue. It is still open and thriving and sure enough, the carrot cake was displayed in the case up front.

The coconut-studded, walnut packed, six-layer sensation is held together with a delicious cream cheese icing and not for the calorie conscious. If you're worried about that sort of thing, perhaps you can share with a friend. I took half of mine home to enjoy the following day.
Saint's Cafe was bustling when I visited.
This six-layer carrot cake is worth the trip.
State College is small enough to enjoy much of what it has to offer in several hours' time. We walked around most of the town, saw everything at the art museum, did a bit of shopping and retired to our room. We were on the road by 7 a.m. the next day in an effort to beat the predicted snowstorm. Unfortunately, we didn't make it; the snow started falling around 7:20 a.m.  Nonetheless, we managed to descend the mountain before things got too dicey. Such is life in Pennsylvania in January.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Ease that Holiday Hangover with a Peaceful Getaway to Huntingdon, Pa

This is a busy time of year for most of us and if you're like me, you breathe a sigh of relief when all the work is done and you're looking forward to boring January when the schedule is suddenly free and there's virtually nothing to do.

Rather than go from 100 to zero, you may want to plan a post-holiday trip to a place where the pace of life is slow, allowing you plenty of time to tour local museums, visit a few restaurants and curl up with a book near a fireplace at the end of the day.

What I dislike most about Pennsylvania winters is the stress of traveling on treacherous roads, so when I learned that I could take the train from Harrisburg to Huntingdon, I was even more excited to check out the area. I left on a Monday and was delighted to discover that I had two seats to myself. It turned out that the train was only half full. Later on it snowed during my trip! I can't imagine how stressful that would have been if I had been driving.  I learned later there were accidents along the way. Not only was I safe, warm and cozy, but I was also able to grab a bite for lunch aboard the dining car.

My experience in Huntingdon had been limited to camping at Raystown Lake many moons ago with friends, so I was glad to have the opportunity to see more of the town during this visit.

barn and clouds
A scene taken on the train ride from Harrisburg to Huntingdon before the snow started. 
The cozy Huntingdon Railroad Station is like stepping back in time.

First Stop: The Station General Store
The Station General Store carries antiques, gifts, furniture and collectibles.
The Station General store operates in a colorful and historic former train station located just steps from where Amtrak drops off passengers traveling to Huntingdon. There you'll find 3,500 square feet of antiques, collectibles, furniture and gifts at reasonable prices.

A Visit to the Oldest Automobile Museum in Pennsylvania
auto museum

The Swigart Museum, located at 12031 William Penn Highway, celebrates its centennial anniversary in 2020. The non-profit is dedicated to preserving the history of the automobile in America.

The story began simply enough when Huntingdon native W. Emmert Swigart began collecting antique cars. Emmert also founded an insurance company called Swigart Associates, which was located across from the post office in the center of town and on that property was a carriage house, which he transformed into a museum. "He had a collection of books, memorabilia, all kinds of things, including four, or five cars," said Marge Cutright, Executive Director. When the insurance company needed the carriage house as the business grew, Emmert purchased the current property where the collection is now housed. When W. Emmert died in 1949, William E. Swigart, Jr. inherited the collection and continued to expand it. William Swigart, Jr. passed in July of 2000, but his museum lives on with Cutright at the helm. "He made it a 501(c) 3 before he passed, so now we rely on public support to keep the doors open," she explains.

The License Plate Collection

The 9,100 square foot museum contains a collection of license plates that William accrued through years of collecting. According to Cutright, he would send his employees to an annual meet in Hershey to buy, sell and trade license plates. The junior Swigart, once again, has his father to thank for starting the collection. According to Cutright, there are hundreds of people who are license plate enthusiasts, many of whom belong to a professional organization called the Automobile License Plate Collector's Association. "During WWII, they were collecting metal for the war effort, but the government would allow collectors to keep the metal plates if they were part of a museum, so some of them would give them to W. Emmert in order to save their collection," said Cutright, offering a bit of license plate trivia: "They didn't start to make license plates until the 1900s, and some of them were made of soybeans, but the animals ate them, so they went to leather, or porcelain and eventually used metal," said Cutright. One of the most notable license plates in the Swigart collection is a license plate from FDR's limo when he was president. "We found a newspaper clipping with a picture of FDR and the license plate is visible in the picture," she said.

The Car Collection
1905 Rambler
Cars are arranged in chronological order.

Swigart's collection totals 125 cars which are rotated annually so that visitors can see something different if they return the following year. Ryan Kolar, who grew up in Johnstown, was a yearly visitor as a child. "My father was a collector and my grandfather was a car builder and a collector as well. We'd stop every year on our way to the big car show in Carlisle to see not only the car collection, but the collection of license plates and emblems" said Kolar, whose only complaint is that he couldn't see the two Tuckers at the same time. Kolar, like Swigart, inherited a collection, albeit much smaller. "I have 11 cars, six of which I purchased on my own," he said.

Cutright said that the "Tin Goose"prototype of the first Tucker made in 1947 is currently on display off property, so if Kolar visited today he'd only see the 1948 Tucker. "A total of 51 were made. We have number 13," said Cutright.
1948 Tucker
A 1948 Tucker is one of two in the collection that is currently on display.
Tucker number 13

Cutright said that the museum exists to show how cars have developed and improved over the years. "Steering wheels have changed from a tiller wheel, similar to a joystick, to what we see today. "They evolved from tiller to round," she said, adding that early cars also lacked windshields. "The first cars didn't even have doors," she said.

Antique auto
A 1919 Pierce-Arrow.
One of the cars that remains in the museum at all times, according to Cutright, is the 1903 Curved Dash Oldsmobile, which was sold by the pound, weighed 650 pounds and cost $650.

Visitors are often surprised that electric cars existed "back in the day." Currently on display is a 1912 Detroit Electric. The company built 13,000 cars between 1907 and 1939. Notable folks who owned them were Lizzie Borden, Thomas Edison, Mamie Eisenhower and John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

Early electric car
A 1912 Detroit Electric car.
The museum also has several one-of-a-kind cars in its collection. One is a 1920 Carroll made in Lorraine, Ohio. "Charles Carroll manufactured 50 and kept one for himself," said Cutright, adding that there is only one that wasn't destroyed due to being left out in the elements. "The family didn't realize that there was still one left that belonged to Carroll himself and they came out to see it."

Carroll automobile
A rare 1920 Carroll. Only 50 were made, and this is the only known survivor.
Another one-of-a-kind, according to Cutright, is a 1916 Scripps-Booth which belonged to a family in Boston by the name of Sears (not the Sears of retail fame). The family was quite wealthy and their daughter Eleanora was a tennis champion and the great, great granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson. She had cars made to her specifications every few years, with decorative accessories like pearl door handles on the inside, for instance. "She was a tennis pro, wore pantaloons, played polo on horseback and was a real character. She would drive around town at very high speeds until the head of the police department in Boston took her to court. Her attorney told her not to say a word during the hearing to avoid jail. She obeyed his directions and narrowly escaped jail, but it didn't stop her from speeding in the future," said Cutright.
Antique auto
A 1916 Scripps-Booth that belonged to the great, great granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson.
One of the most beautiful cars on display is a 1936 Duesenberg, which was bid on by none other than Jay Leno. The story is that Leno bid against Swigart and eventually gave up. In his frustration, he reported that some "hayseed" from Pennsylvania ended up with the car. Mr. Swigart was said to have invited Leno out to his museum, but Leno declined.
The 1936 Duesenberg that frustrated Jay Leno.
The museum touts another Duesenberg as well--a 1929 model, which is taken on tours. "Every year there is something called the Glidden Tour, which is to test the endurance of early cars dated prior to 1947. Each year we go to a different location. Last year it was Hilton Head and we drive the cars 100 miles a day, then return to the hotel and go in a different direction," said Cutright who has thus far been on 11 tours. "I really enjoy them," she said.
Cadillac Eldorado
A 1961 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible
Cutright said that she started out as William Swigart's secretary and didn't care much about cars until she started learning more and now she has the bug. "My husband owns a 1924 Nash and we tour with that sometimes. Once you get involved in it, it's fascinating. It makes people smile and you even get a few 'thumbs up' as you go," she said.

The William E. Swigart Automobile Museum is open daily from Memorial Day weekend through the end of October and for groups throughout the year upon request.

Walk Down Memory Lane at the Isett Heritage Museum
The Isett Heritage Museum houses 40,000 items in three buildings.
The sprawling Isett Heritage Museum is located about two miles east of Huntingdon Borough on Stone Creek Ridge Road. There you'll find three buildings which house a staggering collection of items collected by Melvin Isett. Isett was born in 1922 and spent his lifetime collecting antiques and memorabilia. In 2001, he opened his collection to the public in a renovated barn. By 2004, he expanded the collection to include a 10,000 square foot building. By 2008, he added another 10,000 square foot building to the mix. If you visit, be prepared to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of items that the prolific collector has acquired over the years.

The tour begins in the renovated barn with antiques that date back to the 1800s. In the barn, you'll see an impressive collection of radios from tube radios, to vintage floor models, crystal set radios, Victrolas and more contemporary items like cassette, eight track and cd players. A dairy display includes a restaurant booth and ice cream fountain from Fouse's Dairy where Isett was employed as a teen and a printing exhibit contains two 1870 printing presses. A display located next to the printing press includes a variety of tin items created in local tin shops that date back to the 1800s.
milk bottle
An artifact from Fouse's dairy in Marklesburg where Isett worked as a teen.
Building two is comprised of three sections, starting with formal parlors from the 1800s filled with fainting couches and antiques. Section two features a music room with pianos, pump organs, musical instruments, sheet music and jukeboxes.
Some of the many antiques on display at the Isett Heritage Museum.

antique piano rolls
Player piano rolls. 

A pedal car on display.

Section three includes antique cars, pedal cars, soap box derby cars and a large exhibit dedicated to items used for communication, like vintage typewriters, telephones, dictaphones and hand-written journals dating back to the 1800s. In this section, Isett displays cable equipment from the Huntingdon TV Cable Company, which he founded in 1960.

Items in the third building include a collection of cameras from 1800's to the present day, courtesy of curator Vince Brown, who worked at Kodak in New York for many years.
vintage camera
Chinese View Camera circa 1970.

Also on display are military items, uniforms, letters, weapons and maps ranging from the Civil War to the present.
Items belonging to Brice Blair, Captain, Company 1 of the 149th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1882-1884.
If I had to compare this unique collection to any other places I've visited, I suppose I can say that it is a bit reminiscent of  the Mercer Museum in Doylestown and The Great American Treasure Tour in Oakes, Pa.

If you find what you've read here intriguing, you can take a tour yourself. Winter hours are Monday through Friday, 8-5, with weekend tours by appointment.

(Many thanks to the Isett Heritage Museum for the photos they provided for this blog.)

Hunkering Down in Unique Accommodations
There's no better time to hunker down than in the winter and there are plenty of unique accommodations in the area. During my visit, I had the opportunity to view a few independently owned properties, perfect for a peaceful getaway.

Rustic Ridge Retreat
The Rustic Ridge Retreat is a new property built in 2018 high atop a hill, with beautiful vistas. Local residents Chris and Jackie Confer built the cabin as a retreat, hence the name. The house is perfect for one or two families to enjoy a quiet getaway, while at the same time being just minutes away from Huntingdon.
The living room of the Rustic Ridge Retreat.
The kitchen at the Rustic Ridge Retreat.


A bedroom in the Rustic Ridge Retreat.

sitting area
A sitting area at the top of the stairs.
The cabin is equipped with four tvs and children often gather in the lower level, which is is set up for watching movies, gaming and foosball. Wifi is free and covers all areas, including the outside. If weather permits, there is a pavilion outside equipped with a gas grill, along with a fire pit to cook marshmallows over a campfire.

The Edgewater Inn
The Edgewater Inn dates back to 1762.
If you enjoy historic structures, look no farther than the Edgewater Inn. The original farmhouse, which is now the living room of the Edgewater Inn, was built in 1762 and belonged to John Penn, the grandson of William Penn. The building was originally a log homestead, and guests can view some of the original logs, which have been preserved in the Juniata room behind the bar. Today, the Inn offers dining at the Riverside Grill located on the first floor, along with overnight accommodations and a barn onsite that is used for special events and weddings.
The parlor of the Edgewater Inn is part of the original structure that dates to 1762.


Many discover that the Edgewater Inn is an excellent place to recharge, away from ubiquitous computer screens. Wifi is available in public spaces only, so you can be forgiven if you inform everyone that once you retire to your room you're essentially unplugged until the next morning when you awaken refreshed and ready to tackle the day, but first be sure to enjoy the hearty breakfast  served in the dining room that overlooks the Juniata river.
A room at the Edgewater Inn with a river view.
Lane's Country Homestead and Pine Lodge
Lane's Country Homestead and Pine Lodge are two fully furnished homes that are great getaways for family and friends. The Country Homestead is a quaint, 18th-century farmhouse with four bedrooms and sleeps approximately 10 people.

dining room
The dining room and quaint kitchen area at Lane's Country Homestead.
The Pine Lodge is well suited for large families, family reunions, or a group of friends who want to get together and enjoy each other's company without many distractions. The house sleeps 20, has a huge dining room and is situated on 146 acres of farmland.

The exterior of Lane's Pine Lodge.

dining room
The dining room at Lane's Pine Lodge.
A bedroom at Lane's Pine Lodge.
Fireplace Getaways
The Huntingdon Visitors' Bureau is featuring "Fireplace Getaways" this year by partnering with various lodges, some of which I've mentioned here. Those who visit as part of a group can take part in various activities, from painting, to cake decorating, morning yoga or coffee cupping. If your group would prefer a venturing experience, the Bureau has several from which to choose, whether it be a visit to the Isett Heritage Museum, the Swigart Automobile Museum, or a trip to the popular Lincoln Caverns.

If this sounds good to you, you're well on your way to making it happen. Just click on this link to begin planning your winter escape.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

A Journey to the "Center of the Universe" in Ashland, Virginia

I recently had the opportunity to travel to the far west end of Richmond, Virginia, to an area called Short Pump, so named for a pump that was located at a tavern built by Revolutionary War veteran Robert Hyde Saunders.

The affluent area is a shopper's paradise, with shopping malls as far as the eye can see and the Hilton Richmond Short Pump Hotel & Spa, was a comfortable and convenient basecamp for exploring the small town of Ashland, located just 16 miles away. An added attraction is that the hotel was within walking distance of  Short Pump Town Center, with 140 shops and eateries. I have to offer a warning however. If you're the unrestrained sort, who is prone to tennis elbow from whipping out the Visa, you may want to bunk somewhere else. The area is full of temptations for shopaholics! I spent a few hours at the attractive outdoor mall, enjoying the day and the plethora of  stores carrying everything from clothing, to shoes, candy, gifts and so much more. Because I knew I'd be visiting plenty of independent shops in Ashland, I decided to limit my spending, although I did buy a lovely multi-colored blouse at Versona, a women's boutique that hasn't quite made it to my neck of the woods.

Small Town Charm

The Henry Clay Inn located across from the Visitor's Center.
Ashland takes its name from Henry Clay's Lexington Kentucky estate named for the Ash trees that grew on the property. The town is quite proud of its native son who was born in 1777 and went on to become a presidential candidate in 1822, 1834 and 1844. Known as the "Great Compromiser," Clay is credited for helping to delay the Civil War by about four decades.

The locals also refer to Ashland as the "Center of the Universe" because it is located smack-dab in the middle of Hanover County, although I suspect that the moniker also has a lot to do with the fact that the 7.16 square mile area is just bursting with small-town pride. The friendly residents who engaged me on my visit had nothing but great things to say about life in their small corner of the world.

A Railroad Runs Through It

A mural on the side of The Caboose Restaurant.
A walkable small town.

train and conductor
One of many trains that rumble through the town on a regular basis.
No matter what time of day you visit, you're likely to see a train pass by since tracks run through the middle of town. The Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad initially developed the small town as a mineral springs resort, complete with a racetrack, back in the 1840s. In the aftermath of the Civil War, Ashland was left in ruins, so it was fortuitous that the Randolph-Macon College decided to move to the area shortly thereafter. The institution did much to rehabilitate Ashland and the Methodist-based private liberal arts college exists to this day, touting an enrollment of about 1,500.

First Stop--Welcome Center

train station

The Ashland Welcome Center, located in the Amtrak train station, has been recognized in Trains Magazine as one of the top 10 railfan spots in the country. Inside you'll find a small museum, plenty of pamphlets detailing things to do in the area and a friendly staff to help with any questions you might have about the town.

Small Town Shops

As you make your way around town, you'll find welcoming merchants selling everything from toys, to trains, jewelry, books, antiques, gifts and furniture.

Tiny Tim's Trains and Toys is just one of the independent shops in Ashland.

book store
Bell, Book and Candle carries both new and used books.
jewelry store
The friendly folks at Wagner Jewelers are always happy to help you pick out that special something.

Stopping for a Bite

There are several eateries in town if you're making a day of it. The Caboose Market and Cafe offers a selection of wine and beer, along with imported cheeses and snack meats and a seasonal menu featuring farm-to-table cuisine. Order one of the in-house made desserts to top things off, or save those calories and head on over to Sugar Fix, located near the historic Ashland Theatre.
The Caboose Market and Café offers a seasonal menu with a focus on local products.

Inside The Caboose restaurant.
The Sugar Fix Bakery is open Tuesday through Saturday.

Sugar Fix offers brownies, cupcakes, custom cookies, candy and more. Owner Melinda Foster started out making cookies for family and friends and in 2011 the mother of six decided to open her own business and Ashland is sweeter for it.

corner restaurant
The Iron Horse Restaurant is housed in a building that is more than 100 years' old
The Iron Horse Restaurant operates out of a century-old building and is located at the corner of Railroad Avenue. The popular spot offers lunch and dinner, with a focus on southern cuisine, seafood, sandwiches, salads and steaks. The owners are quite proud of the eatery's proximity to the railroad tracks, enticing many railfans who are eager to experience one of the best vantage points to watch traffic on the busiest rail line on the East Coast.

Another laudable lunch option is "Homemades by Suzanne." I, for one, found it difficult to pass by after experiencing the alluring aromas that beckoned me to come inside, even though I had already eaten. Suzanne must know what she's doing because she was named "Best Caterer" for five years by readers of Richmond Magazine. On the menu are sandwiches, salads, soups and more to eat in, or carry out.

"Homemades by Suzanne" was named "Best Caterer" for five years by readers of Richmond Magazine.

restaurant tables
A peek inside of "Homemades by Suzanne."
A Century-Old Grocery  Store

Cross Bros. Grocery began serving the Ashland community in May of 1912, starting out as a small butcher shop and expanding to include additional offerings. By 1973, Cross Bros. had been enlarged four times before the family decided to sell it to two couples who recognized its importance to the community. In 2018, the business was sold again, this time to a group of local individuals committed to continuing the tradition of providing local meat, produce and groceries to Ashland. In addition to making upgrades to the building and re-branding the business as Ashland Meat Co. at Cross Bros., the group expanded its offerings to include beer, wine and prepared foods.
Cross Bros. Grocery, serving the community since 1912.

Ashland Meat Co. at Cross Bros. has expanded its offerings to include beer, wine and prepared foods.

A Large Library for a Small Town

The town may be small, but it touts a rather large library, as seen here, and the residents of the area have Richard Gillis to thank. "Dick" served as Mayor from 1977 to 1990 and as a member of the Pamunkey Regional Library Board of Trustees from 1971-1980. During this time he was very vocal about the need for a library in the area. Gillis was also responsible for Ashland's "Center of the Universe" moniker. He passed in 2001, but is memorialized on the building, which bears his name.
Richard Gillis, Jr. library
The Richard S. Gillis, Jr. library is located downtown.
Historic Theatre

The Ashland theatre opened its doors in 1948 with "Sitting Pretty" starring Robert Young, Maureen O'Hara and Clifton Webb. The show was preceded by a cartoon, with an entrance fee of 40 cents for adults and 14 cents for children. Like most small, independent theaters, the business saw its share of hard times in an era where entertainment choices abound and was therefore forced to shut its doors in the 1990s. When the owner donated the building to the Town of Ashland in 2013, the town united to save the landmark.  A two-year overhaul began along with a  $2.1 million capital campaign and in 2018 the theatre reopened to the public. Today the venue offers movies, musical acts, other live performances and community-building events.

Local Accommodations

The Henry Clay Inn
Porches tailor made for relaxing and watching the world go by.

The entrance area to the Henry Clay Inn.

The breakfast area of the Henry Clay Inn.

The attractive Georgian-style Inn located across from the Ashland Visitor's Center is popular with railfans and those who enjoy the laid back pace of life that Ashland offers. And it's hard to beat for convenience--guests can walk out the front door and be at the train station located just a few steps away.

The boutique hotel offers 11 guestrooms, two suites and several spacious porches perfect for relaxing, chatting with a friend, or simply watching the world go by.
The second floor balcony of the Henry Clay Inn.

A bedroom at the Henry Clay Inn.

The Tinder Guest House

A bedroom in the Tinder Guest House.
The Tinder Guest House, located next to the Bell, Book and Candle on South Center Street, dates back to 1898, when it first operated as a pharmaceutical business.

The Game Room at the Tinder Guest House

The 2,000-foot guest house features three bedrooms and two bathrooms, a game room, an eating nook and a gathering room and is popular with families who are seeking a relaxing getaway.

Almost all of places I have mentioned are located on the "main drag,"except for the theatre and the bakery, which can be found on England Street.

I could go on about how quaint and friendly this small town is, but I'll leave it up to you to explore further. Hopefully these few tips on where to go and what to see might inspire you to do so, or, if you prefer, just reach out to the helpful staff at the Welcome Center, or any of the local merchants. I'm sure they'll be happy to assist.