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A House With History
There are so many comforting features at Kirkwood Inn in Mason, it's hard to choose the best one.

For couples eager to rejuvenate, it's likely the amenity that begins with a gentle rap on their guest-room door, followed by a greeting from husband-and-wife massage therapist team Jan and Greg Plummer. While simultaneous couples' massages are a luxury that can be hard to find at overnight spots around the state, the soothing treatment is commonplace for the many honeymooners who flock to Kirkwood Inn. 

However, for those who simply long to escape the frantic pace of home and work, setting foot on the grounds of the combination inn and farmhouse is luxury enough.

The modern world falls away at the establishment – and not just because of the Williamsburg-style fabrics, furniture and artwork that decorate its interior. This spot has welcomed travelers on U.S. Rte. 42 for more than two centuries, ever since Judge Jacob D. Lowe first opened the doors of his 1799 farmhouse to the region's many stagecoach passengers.

“His son, Ralph, loved to hear the horn blow on the stagecoach, hoping it was Congressman Henry Clay,” says Sandra Eves, Kirkwood's innkeeper (along with husband David) and an amateur historian. “He was the boy's favorite overnight guest.”

Today, Kirkwood maintains its time-honored hospitality, while also supplying the touches of comfort and convenience modern travelers expect.

The inn features 48 elegantly appointed rooms and deluxe suites, including some with Jacuzzis and others with cozy fireplaces – perfect for snuggling up with a significant other on a winter day.

Additionally, Kirkwood Inn offers a range of packages that cater to romantics, including “Enchanted Evening,” which includes a private dinner prepared by Kirkwood's personal chef and elegantly served in the property's Historic Kirkwood House; the “Sweetheart Package,” which promises breakfast in bed, as well as chocolate-covered strawberries and fresh fruit; and “Fit for a King,” which includes a couple's massage, a night's lodging in one of the Jacuzzi rooms, and a gift certificate to the Montgomery Inn, a nearby restaurant known for its slow-roasted, tangy ribs.

In the morning, guests are lured to historic Kirkwood House, reserved as both a party center and breakfast spot, where they indulge in hearty meals of scrambled eggs, country ham, quiche, biscuits and poppy seed bread with homemade peach preserves.

But Kirkwood House isn't just the site of the tasty morning spreads. Like most of the property, virtually every room recalls the past.
“Stand here and you have three centuries,” Sandra marvels just inside Kirkwood House door. She notes that the hearth and kitchen date to the 18th century, the dining room recalls the 19th century, and a back room was built in the 20th.

Surrounded by such rich history at Kirkwood Inn, it's no wonder so many vacationing couples enjoy spending the rest of their day together prowling the numerous antiques shops in nearby Lebanon, Waynesville and Springboro. – Betsa Marsh
Kirkwood Inn, 4027 U.S. Rte. 42, Mason, 800/732-4741.
Noteworthy Stops Nearby …
La Comedia, 765 W. Central Ave., Springboro, 800/677-9505. The only professional dinner theater in southwest Ohio and one of the nation's largest, La Comedia produces six Broadway shows a year, with a gourmet buffet served before each performance.

Fort Ancient State Memorial, 6123 St. Rte. 350, Oregonia, 800/283-8904. Visitors can walk the scenic trails and view the remains of earthen walls built 2,000 years ago by American Indians, then peruse the museum's 9,000 square feet of exhibits.

Waynesville, “The Antiques Capital of the Midwest,” 513/897-8855, Older than the state of Ohio, Waynesville has long been known for it wealth of offerings for antiques hunters. Its charming Main Street alone is home to more than a half-dozen popular antiques shops.

The Kirkwood Inn 4027 S US 42, Mason OH 45040 (513) 398-7277