ose Heart Inn was originally built in 1898 for C.L. Russell who
owned a men’s clothing store on the village square in Mt. Gilead. Writing in
pencil on the wall leading up to the third floor that was signed by C.L.
Russell himself indicates that he moved into the home on March 30, 1899. He
installed a number of high end features for the era to include four stained
glass panels (often referred to as “art glass”) that overlooked the front
stairway, leaded glass doors and windows, and hard wood in-laid floors. All of
which are still in place today.
Mr. Russell sold the property in the early to mid 1900's to
Clint Graham who was a retired farmer. He was reported to have planted an
orchard and performed considerable landscaping. He kept the property until the
early 1950’s when he sold it to Dr. David James Hickson and his wife Gloria.
They moved in the home in July of 1952. Dr. Hickson used the first floor for
his practice until a new office building was constructed. After the practice
was moved out of the home, the Hickson’s performed extensive restoration on the
In November of 1988, Mary Kay and Ralph Robins purchased the
home with the intent of turning it into a Bed & Breakfast. They began
renovations in February of 1989. After completely wallpapering the whole house
with fresh paper, refinishing the woodwork and installing new carpet, the house
was ready to open as the Holiday House Victorian Bed & Breakfast. Mary Kay
chose a Christmas theme for the house and had four large Christmas trees
decorated with ornaments recalling Christmases of the Victorian Era. On
Saturday, September 30, 1989 they hosted an open house and had over 350 people
Rumor has it that a number of celebrities were guests at the Holiday House Bed
& Breakfast. In May of 1990 Ellen Simon, daughter of award-winning
playwright Neil Simon, spent three days during a cross-country trip with her
husband. Paul Newman was reported to have stayed while attending a racing event
at Mid-Ohio Raceway. And of course, there may have been others. Certainly this
house has had many guests each admiring its historic features and enjoying its
small town atmosphere.