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  • Victoria Saville

Tile House Selected for the 62nd Annual Heritage Weekend

Kriston Strickler, 2015 Heritage Weekend Chairperson, and the Hardy County Tour and Craft Association Board of Directors are pleased to announce The Inn at Abbott Farm has been selected as the 2015 Tile House. Each year Heritage Weekend highlights a historic home by preserving its image on a decorative tile created by a professional artist. All previous tiles in the collection can be viewed at the Moorefield Public Library.

The home is located on Upper Cove Run Road in Mathias and is owned by Lisa O’Leary and Bob Osterhoudt. Also known as the Dr. B.F. Moyers Farmstead, construction started on the Folk Victorian farmhouse in 1890 and was completed by 1910. This completion also included all 11 of the outbuildings including, the Doctor’s office, carriage house, chicken houses, and a summer kitchen. All of the original buildings are still on the property and being put to great use by the current owners, who purchased the property in 2012. They have worked hard to restore the property to its original state and have taken great pride in their labors. When asked what their favorite thing was about the renovations on the property Lisa O’Leary stated, “I love that we have brought this property back to life and feel like we have done justice to Dr. Moyers.” The home sat vacant for four years before it was purchased by O’Leary and Osterhoudt.

“We moved here without knowing anything about the area, we just knew we wanted to have a self- sufficient farm in West Virginia,” said Lisa O’Leary. “The Bed & Breakfast aspect was not our initial plan, but the home is laid out perfect for it.” When asked where the idea for the Bed & Breakfast came from, O’Leary simply states “it was all my mother’s idea!” The couple has turned the property into a Bed & Breakfast as well as a home for themselves. They have also renovated and continue to work on the out buildings as rooms for guests. “With both our personalities, owning a Bed & Breakfast has come naturally to us, we love meeting and talking with our guests,” said O’Leary. They maintain a farm on the property with chickens, goats, sheep, pigs, and a large garden. Lisa prides herself on serving her own, homemade and homegrown, bacon, eggs, and grape jelly and strives to be completely farm to table at the Inn.

“Since moving here we have worked on researching the home. We learned it was the first home in Mathias to have electricity,” stated O’Leary. The carriage house was also the home to the first fire truck in Mathias. When the truck was purchased in the 1950’s there was no fire station, so it was housed in the carriage house. The couple states that they have been impressed with the master craftsmanship with which the home was built. In every aspect of their renovations they said they could easily see the perfection and precision that went into the home design. They have tried to repurpose and reuse as much of the original property as possible.

For example the molding in the kitchen was made from old fencing that was on the property. The couple has decorated the home with a modern flair while paying close attention to historical detail. 97% of what is used in the home is either recycled or reused. The couple was thrifty in the decoration and remodeling and tried to not buy anything new. The walls are adorned with works of art from various artists, including, Noel Grunwaldt, Richard Prince and Tim Ebneth. O’Leary possesses an incredible eye for design and decorating; making it easy to see why guests choose to stay at this beautiful location.

The 2015 Heritage Weekend is slated for September 25-27 and is the only county-wide fair or festival in the state. If you are interested in showcasing your historical home or property as part of the weekend please call, Kriston Strickler, Homes Tour Coordinator, at 304 257 6192. As always, tiles will be available for purchase during the weekend and throughout the year at the Moorefield Public Library.

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