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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

McKinley House is 'home, suite, home' for Hunt family

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Part 2 of 4

In the spring of 1826, George and Barbara McKinley blazed a trail from Kentucky and accumulated 2700 acres of land around Brazil and Harmony. At first, they lived in a simple wood frame house in Van Buren Township on the National Road. However, George realized the importance of the growing influence of the Road, and to this home he added a brick frame structure that he used as an Inn and Tavern to serve the pioneers.

In l872, with acquired wealth from his railroad business and becoming the contractor of the Road, McKinley built the home that would later become the Bed and Breakfast. All the structures were built with soft clay bricks, dug and kilned on the site, and they also used walnut, pine, cherry and poplar that grew on the farm as well.

Standing dormant for more than 40 years, the massive red brick Italianate structure was in dire need of a generous supply of tender loving care. In July, 1993 Lucian and Marilyn Hunt of Bowling Green, Ky., fell in love with the deplorable sight and began bringing the past to life again. Following extensive research, creative planning and plain, old-fashioned drudgery the Hunts miraculously transformed the irreplaceable house into a sprawling showpiece. It is located at 3273 E US 40.

Today, the residence is well loved and maintained by Tom and Julie Kinley. They purchased the property in 2001 and turned it into The McKinley House Bed and Breakfast, an inviting stay-awhile place for weary travelers. The hard-working couple has maintained the pride this small mansion affords. From the moment you approach the grounds, your soul will be fed.

The 5,000-square-foot home is a spectacular example of grand craftsmanship. You will be impressed by its large central hallway and curved 10-foot high windows. Solid walnut floors, a gorgeous winding staircase that reaches to the roof and an abundance of trims are just some of the homes mellow testaments. The Kinley's choice of fine furnishings enhances the personality of this historic mansion.

Each guest suite has been creatively transformed into luxurious get-a-ways. Included are The Renaissance Room, The Royal Room, The Victorian Room and the Cottage Room. A private bath partners with each chamber. Travelers also have an option of visiting the parlor, library and dining room or to meander around the country lawn.

The McKinley House couldn't have been purchased by more suitable owners than Tom and Julie. They are certainly doing their part in preserving the past-- caring for an historic home which can never be replaced.

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