The Inn at Abbott Farm offers farm-fresh foods, easy access to outdoor adventures, and uniquely-decorated accommodations.
The memory of a dip in a West Virginia swimming hole several years back lingered for a long time in Lisa O’Leary’s imagination. The Annapolis, Maryland, native was living in upstate New York when she decided to try and “be closer, but not too close” to her family. And she also wanted to have her own farm.
What she did not envision, however, was running a bed and breakfast.
But in August 2014, O’Leary and her husband, Robert Osterhoudt, opened The Inn at Abbott Farm in Mathias, close to Hardy County’s Lost River State Park and less than a half hour from the Washington, D.C., weekend getaway destination of Wardensville. Early on during a tour, O’Leary’s mother had an observation about the white, two-story Folk Queen Anne Victorian home, built by Dr. Benjamin Moyers in the 1860s. “She said this would make a perfect bed and breakfast, and we realized the area could support another B&B because of the influx of tourists we get from the D.C. area,” O’Leary says. “That’s how it happened. So now we have a farm and a bed and breakfast.”
That turned out to be a good combination for O’Leary and Osterhoudt, who not only raise pigs and hens—allowing them to serve farm-fresh bacon and eggs at the hearty breakfasts O’Leary whips up for guests—but also goats whose milk becomes the soaps and lotions that stock the inn’s bathrooms.
And grapes from the orchards wind up on O’Leary’s china-and-silver set table in the form of jelly that can be spread on freshly-baked croissants. “We went out during the day and so Lisa made us a gorgeous breakfast every morning at the Inn, with local bacon from pigs they had slaughtered, and homemade strawberry preserves,” says Carlton Carroll, who works in public relations in Washington.
Carroll visited the B&B in May with his husband, Ian Reese, a federal government worker, and their dog Vee. Vee, a German shorthaired pointer, even got to spend time with O’Leary and Osterhoudt’s rescued mutt, Opal. “That was a huge draw,” Carroll says. “She loves to hike. It was great to find a place like The Inn at Abbott Farm that would allow us to take our dog with us. Vee and Opal became best friends quickly.”
The nearby 3,700-acre Lost River State Park features numerous blazed hiking trails and also is home to Hidden Trails Stables, which offers guided horseback riding. It is a big draw for busy urban professionals looking for a relaxing—and accessible—weekend getaway.
And the Inn at Abbott Farm provides a charming and unique place to rest up between hikes, sightseeing, and dinner. Guests can choose between one of two rooms inside the main house, or among three buildings on the property that afford more room and privacy as well as kitchen space. Those spaces are also dog-friendly.
Carroll, Reese, and Vee stayed in the Doctor’s Office, where the original owner once practiced by the side of a creek. These days, the flowing waters lull guests to sleep.
“It’s really neat,” Carroll says. “It is beautifully furnished with a mix of antiques and local pieces that Lisa found. It was the perfect size for my husband and me and we had our dog, who just absolutely loves it out there.”
O’Leary prides herself on the decor of the inn, which includes works from her art collection. “Some are worth two dollars and some are worth more than that,” she says. “We’re not your typical B&B. We don’t have anything plaid or checked. We have very modern, eclectic decor mixed with old-fashioned things. It’s a style all of its own.”
Canetha Dodd, a Washington meeting and event planner, and her husband Daniel stayed in the Smokehouse when they visited in March. Dodd, who has a degree in architectural design, says she appreciated how O’Leary and Osterhoudt made the most out of the space. She also liked the open, pebble tile shower O’Leary chose for the Smokehouse and the Charles Donald, one of the main building’s guest rooms. “It’s just a magical place,” Dodd says. “We really like the location. Never having been in the Lost River Valley before, it was just lush and green that time of year. It was just a beautiful spot.”
141 Upper Cove Run Road, Mathias; 304.897.7220; theinnatabbottfarm.com