Scioto Inn Cottage

Scioto Inn Cottage

If you enjoy history and seeing a very old building renovated in a way that respects its past, then this article is for you, but if not, you may enjoy seeing the photos anyway! Enter the Scioto Inn Cottage in Urbana, Ohio, my hometown. This is how she looks today.

But this is a far cry from her younger days. In fact, the small structure was originally a hay barn built in 1820 for the large home in front of it. The room in the above picture was the only space at first. See the house in its neglected days below.

In 1850 the barn became a tenant house, with a lean to addition, then in the 1980’s, it had another reincarnation as a barbecue restaurant and barber shop! Why not get a sandwich and a haircut at the same spot?!?

But the little building got another chance to be beautiful when Scioto Inn owner Rich Colvin decided to take it on and give it this new life. He took his time selecting millwork, and other finishes and appliances that would make sense given the building’s age and past.

What is now the chimney was originally where the barbeque was cooked. That space was turned into the cottage’s bedroom with a decorative fireplace and mantle where the old oven sat.

During the remodeling, Rich was meticulous about using period appropriate millwork throughout the space. In the room that was the original hay barn, now the living room, he took the original flooring and put it on the ceiling when he opened it up.

Wide wooden planks from the original barn were used on the lower walls in the room. Even the old wooden windows were rebuilt with original wavy glass to be identical to the old ones.

Credit for cutting period appropriate woodwork and built in cupboards goes to John Packer of Carriage House Woodworking. Rich also thanks Mark Neer for his help and knowledge in historic structures, and Rick Benning for endless hours of nasty work!!! Lest we forget, the place didn’t always look so charming and bright, like the horrible bathroom of old.

Today the cottage bathroom is modern but has charm with features including the door and sweet cabinet. It has a lovely shower, tile floor, wood walls, and a washer and dryer behind the shower curtain.

The white kitchen is bright and so charming with little nooks, shelves, and wonderful lighting.

And I love the 1948 Frigidaire stove he tracked down on E-bay that was in Salem, Massachusetts!

Rich loves it so much he got himself one for his own apartment in the Scioto Inn he opened in Urbana ten years ago. The building that was originally home to a doctor and his family in 1885 and later had hospital rooms in the back of the house, is now a lovely bed and breakfast with seven guest rooms.

Seven rooms at the Inn plus one special cottage waiting for anyone who loves the ambiance of older homes but the amenities of a modern one.

I’m just beginning to really take an interest in the history of my hometown. Maybe it’s because I’ve been away for so many years and now appreciate it even more or like many of us as we get older, we seek to reconnect with our roots. Whatever the reason, I’m so happy to get to know Rich, who as a side note also bought my grandparent’s former home years ago and later sold it. Small world. Thanks to Rich for sharing his cottage and adding beauty to Urbana.

The Scioto Inn also has lovely gardens, a two story porch for guests to enjoy and a prohibition style basement! If you’re interested in booking a room at the inn or the cottage, call 937-508-4546 or send an email to

Downtown Urbana, Ohio

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  • Terri Merryman
    Posted at 12:48h, 15 January Reply

    I love the charm of this inn. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  • Elizabeth Scruggs
    Posted at 21:54h, 05 January Reply

    I love this so much!
    These days, people are so quick to knock structures down and build new. But an older home, one that has seen decades or centuries pass- now that’s what I’m interested in. I love the story, the history, and the elements of an old home. The way they framed them then was incredible. True craftsmanship. I love how Mr. Colvin did the research to use the correct millwork for the space. And I really love the original floors on the ceiling!
    Thanks for sharing this gem from your hometown:)

  • Sandra Gonzalez
    Posted at 09:46h, 05 January Reply

    Rich has incredible vision…when he sees an old structure, he knows exactly how he wishes it to look in the end. So talented and we are fortunate he chose Urbana as his home. Scioto Inn is beautiful and is located in the heart of downtown Urbana!

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