Experience life on a farm at this unique Northern Panhandle getaway.
The owners of Barn With Inn at Highland Springs Farm have it right. Harry Sanford and Chatman Neely believe, “you have to disengage to engage.” So they’ve created a sanctuary outside Wellsburg in the Northern Panhandle where you can do just that, in one of the most unexpected places: a loft above a working barn.
You won’t find a bellhop ready to gather your luggage and deliver it to your room. Instead, you’ll be greeted by Cooper,their director of public relations—a free-range pot bellied pig. If you are lucky, you might catch Max the rooster riding on his back. And once the seven dogs announce your arrival, Martha the donkey and Jasper and Granite, the farm’s two burros, will also want to say hello.
“We are a farm that offers a bed and breakfast,” says Neely. “We are a getaway for people who are looking for privacy, comfort, in a rustic environment—people who are looking for an authentic experience.”
All of their animals—there are 48 in all—are surrendered or adopted. Sanford is a veterinarian, so it isn’t uncommon for him to come home with a new family member. “We thought people would be freaked out by animals, but it is actually a draw,” Neely says. “People can’t get enough. And the animals are good caretakers. You won’t see a mouse, flea, or tick here.”
Nestled in 34 acres, the cabin at Highland Springs Farm is 170 years old and was moved to the property in the 1980s. In the 1990s, an addition was added to give the structure an old farmhouse look. Each morning a classic country breakfast of regional foods, including heirloom pork, is served on the breakfast porch looking out over the beautiful grounds. The innkeepers also offer onsite dinners, if requested in advance, complete with Neely’s legendary sugar cream pie.
The property boasts three unique guest rooms and has become a popular site for weddings and events. There’s a large guest room renovated from a barn loft previously used for storing hay, with a sitting area and a window overlooking the animals in the barn, a private bath with radiant-heated floors, and a small porch with views of the butterfly garden. The focal point of the room is the queen bed massive headboard, custom-made from 150-year-old hand-hewn cabin posts.
A renovated horse stall makes another darling guest suite. This large and comfortable room has a modern private bath with radiant-heated floors. You can view the animals from a window or the charming front porch. And in the farmhouse, a first-floor bedroom with twin beds is decorated with antiques and rustic furnishings. Rooms range from $125 to $165 a night.
In addition to unencumbered access to the animals, the property has several other amenities: walking paths, a swimming and fishing pond, an in-ground pool where you can schedule a massage, outdoor showers, and butterfly, vegetable, and flower gardens. What you won’t find are televisions or clocks, although the farm does have wi-fi hotspots for those guests who desperately need internet.
“We hope we have created a place where you leave the stresses of modern day life behind and focus on farm life and farm-to-table foods,” says Neely. “We want people to get away from it all. Use us as a base to explore other areas.” With its easy access to western Pennsylvania, Amish Country, eastern Ohio, Morgantown, Wheeling, and Homer Laughlin’s factory in Newell, there’s no lack of options. “Or just come disconnect and rejuvenate.” 4859 Bealls Ridge, Wellsburg, 304.737.0647, barnwithinn.com, “Highland Springs Farm & Barn With Inn” on Facebook
written by Nikki Bowman
photographed by Carla Witt Ford