Wouldn’t it be great to wake up refreshed in a well-appointed room, shower in a state-of-the-art private bathroom, then find a hot, home-made meal of locally-sourced food waiting for you on a vintage lace tablecloth covering an antique oak table? Wouldn’t it be even greater to enjoy that breakfast with a local who knows exactly where you can rent a bike for the day, find the best antique shop, or sample the finest local wineries? And wouldn’t it be just too much to ask for all of that within easy driving distance of your home?
Fortunately, The 330 boasts plenty of cozy bed-and-breakfast inns that are ideal for a romantic weekend or a restful staycation. From Victorian “gingerbread” architecture to intriguing historical properties, B&Bs offer a home-away-from-home experience in sumptuous style. Thoughtful innkeepers welcome you to make yourself at home as you explore, reconnect, or unplug. You’ll feel so pampered by these charming hosts as you discover hidden gems in The 330 that a weekend in a local B&B might just become your vacation of choice.
The Market Street Inn
Photos by Mary Lauletta
Jayne and Allan Churchmack knew from the time they married in 1982 that they would one day open a B&B. “We had this plan that by the time we were 50, we were going to do this,” Jayne Churchmack says.
Retired after 20 years as the first and only female Vice President of Marketing and Foodservice with the Cleveland Indians, Churchmack was ready for her next chapter. “I took that opportunity to go to pastry chef school, and that was a great transition, personally and professionally,” she says. She also interned at a bakery and restaurant in Tremont to get experience in a professional kitchen. Fortified by Churchmack’s culinary expertise, the couple searched for a house near a college campus, to guarantee year-round guests.
The house they found in 2010 had been built in 1897 by Walter Foss, whose father founded the Wooster Paint Brush company. Another family, the Klingelhoefers, had purchased the home in the 1990s and renovated it into a B&B. “It really has such great bones,” Churchmack says. “The Klingelhoefers did such a great job with it—they didn’t skip anything.”
Jayne Churchmack loves serving her guests—many of whom attend the nearby Ohio Light Opera and return to the inn each season—creative breakfasts, like her signature ham cups. And she’s always adding new items. “We keep track of what we make, and I try not to serve guests the same thing twice,” she says. “I’m very structured because of my corporate background, so I have checklists upon checklists.”
For your next visit to the College of Wooster, the Ohio Light Opera or Amish country, consider the Market Street Inn at 356 N. Market St. Make your reservation at 330-262-4085 or www.marketstreetinnwooster.com.
The Fulton House
Photos by Mary Lauletta
When Paul and Cindy Bagocious were getting ready to open their B&B, they did what any retired educators would do: research. “We went to Cape May in New Jersey, [which] is considered the B&B capital of the world,” Paul Bagocious says. “I had set up interviews with five B&Bs there ahead of time, and talked to the owners on dos and don’ts of running a B&B. That was very enlightening.”
When the couple purchased the large ante-bellum house in 2001, it had already been converted to an inn by another family that ran it for about five years. The Bagociouses enlarged the kitchen and added a garage—keeping with the original architectural style—then spruced up wallpaper and furnishings inside the home. “Cindy likes to do the little things in the house that women love,” he says. “I am more the big furniture person.” But they had no difficulty agreeing on particular pieces for the guest rooms, as 44 years of marriage, four children and six grandkids have made them “of one mind,” as Paul Bagocious puts it.
People often stay at the Fulton House when they’re visiting family in the area, but Bagocious recalls one very memorable guest: a woman traveling from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon and back on a World War II-style motorcycle with a sidecar.
Canal Fulton, itself, is often a draw, with canal boat rides that feature wine tastings or performances by the local Shakespeare players. “It’s just a quaint, peaceful little town; an idyllic kind of a place,” Bagocious says.
By staying at places like the Fulton House, guests can talk with the owners and get tips on what Bagocious calls “little go-to places that the common visitor would pass up.” But you can also keep to yourself, if you prefer.
The best reason to choose a B&B, though, is for the ambiance a historic house lends to your experience. “It resembles a warm, comfortable, romantic home, as opposed to a sterile motel room,” says Bagocious.
Contact Paul and Cindy at 330-854-4645, 451 Cherry Street in Canal Fulton, or www.fultonhousebb.com. For details on canal boat rides, call 330-854-6835 or visit www.cityofcanalfulton-oh.gov/departments/canal-boat-operations/.
The Fieldcrest Estate
Photos by Amani Williams
Large trees and modest homes line Easthill Street Southeast in North Canton. At the intersection of Easthill and Patricia Avenue, a gate and white brick walls stand sentry to a long driveway that seems to disappear into stately, leafy trees. “We’re kind of a secret,” says Judi Christy, Marketing Director at Fieldcrest Estate. “People I talk to [say], ‘oh I never knew that was there!’ We are kind of off the beaten path.”
The 50-acre property—originally owned by the Hoover family that started the Hoover Suction Sweeper Company—is something of a retreat for visitors who want to escape the noise and bustle of area attractions like The Pro Football Hall of Fame. “It’s a place to come in and breathe after you’ve had a very exciting day doing fun things with your family,” Christy says.
Three historic buildings offer guests a choice of accommodations, from the three-bedroom Lady Grace Tea house—rented as a complete, family-friendly unit—to the eight luxurious private rooms in the Inn, to the three cozy rooms of the Lodge, which originally hosted Hoover family gatherings and served as a “perk” for Hoover Company executives. “It always makes me really happy that folks who have some legacy with Hoover, but maybe not [at] the V.P. level, get [to] experience some of the things the top dogs in the industry were privy to in decades past.”
Christy invites visitors to special events hosted on the property, as well, such as the Mid-Summer Masquerade for adults and the Wizard’s Gathering, an annual Harry Potter-themed party in September for all ages. Sunday brunch at the Inn is always open to the public, as well.
“ We invite people to ‘go beyond the gates,’ to experience what we have here,” she says. Make arrangements for your weekend retreat, special occasion party, or brunch outing at www.fieldcrest.com, 330-966-2222, or drive through the gates at 1346 Easthill St. S.E.
The Jeremiah B. King Guest House
Photos by Amani Williams
In the early 1870s, Jeremiah B. King ran a dry goods business on the main street of the fairly new Town of Hudson. He did so well that in 1873 he built a two-story home just up the street for his beloved wife, Mary, with Italian marble fireplaces and wedding-cake-style plaster cornices. By 1980, the Hudson Heritage Association had authenticated the former King home’s construction date and history, and it was listed with Ohio's State Historic Preservation Office.
Twenty years later, Renell Pierpoint Hardtmayer wanted to be at home while her young son was in school and her husband worked. But Ms. Ren, as she likes to be called, was not content without a project. “I am a fairly high-energy person,” she says. The Hardtmayers found the King home on the market, snapped it up, and spent the following six months renovating it for a B&B.
After replacing the knob-and-tube electrical wiring, the ancient furnace and all the plumbing, they set about restoration. “You cannot touch anything of a historical nature,” Ms. Ren says, “but you want modern conveniences for the guests.” Now, all four guest rooms have private baths and elegant decorations that envelop visitors with historic charm. “The environment in your B&B can sort of wrap [its] arms around the guests coming in.”
While Ms. Ren has hosted travelers from far and wide, some guests come from a lot closer. Recently, a Hudson couple chose to spend a weekend at the King house so that their adult children and their spouses could enjoy their childhood home without their parents “hovering.”
For entertainment, Ms. Ren points her guests to all the attractions in the Cuyahoga Valley, as well as Hudson’s own First and Main development. “After Memorial Day,” she says, “we have an event probably every weekend.” For rates and availability, call Ms. Ren at 330-550-0199, visit www.kingguesthouse.com, or stop in at 272 North Main St.
The Whimsical Pig
Photos by Amani Williams
Sue Bishop was never really crazy about pigs. But once she and her husband, Ron, had finished restoring the 1876 farm house they had purchased in 1995 and all four of their kids were moving on with their own lives, she looked for some little “catch” for the nascent B&B they planned to open in 2013.
“ I did some research on the pig breeds that would have been in [this] area,” she says, “[and] we opened the place on a whim to see if it would work, so I thought let’s call it the Whimsical Pig. It turned out to be a wonderful thing.”
Growing up a minister’s daughter, Bishop moved around a lot before settling in Akron around eighth grade. She and her husband, a Kenmore native, both retired from the education field, but weren’t exactly ready to go out to pasture. “We’re not huge travelers, so we thought people would travel to see us,” she says. “That way, we could meet new people and have new experiences and put our home that we worked so hard on to good use.”
The four cozy yet luxurious rooms at the Inn are named for pig breeds common to the Western Reserve: Gloucester Old Spot, Chester White, Tamworth, Hampshire Piglet. Guests and friends routinely drop off pig paraphernalia for the Bishops, which Sue gracefully accepts. “None of them are alive, but I have a ton of pigs,” she says.
For those nervous about their first time in a B&B instead of a chain hotel, Bishop reassures that the limited number of guests actually ensures more privacy. “You can come and go as you want,” she says. “You’re staying as friends. Just expect to feel at home.”
Give yourself that special treat for your next anniversary or birthday by calling the Bishops at 330-576-6104, selecting your pig-themed room at www.whimsicalpigbedandbreakfast.com, or stopping by 2682 Cleve-Massillon Rd., right across from the Wolf Creek Winery.
/ Editorial Associate Sharon Cebula lives in West Akron with her very patient husband, two obnoxious cats, and an enormous collection of owl paraphernalia.