About the Owners, the Round House and the Cabins
George and Patty Carr, the innkeepers at Cave Hill, are native Cincinnatians. They love the beauty and rural atmosphere of Adams County, just 50 miles east of Cincinnati. In 1991 they bought a big field and surrounding woods on Cave Hill. The field is on a ridge with a great view of the Appalachian foothills. There was an old falling down log barn on the field, but no other buildings. George and Patty rebuilt the barn and spent many years enjoying the seasons at Cave Hill, mowing the fields and walking the woods.
Then in 2003 George and Patty bought the twelve sided building that was to become the Round House at Cave Hill. It was located on property next to their field and barn, at the end of the road, deep in the woods. The building was framed in, had most of a roof and was covered in white housewrap which had torn and was flapping in the wind. There was no interior or exterior finish. George, who had retired from the practice of law, undertook to finish it.
Over the next five years, George finished the roof, put windows in the cupola, applied split cedar shakes to the exterior, paneled the interior with Ponderosa Pine trimmed in red cedar, built the railing around the balcony and stairs out of South American Bulletwood and installed yellow pine floors. Lastly he hired a carpenter to add the front porch and the deck, and the shell of a building had become Cave Hill Round House.
While the Round House was under construction, George and Patty had bought an old cabin next to the field with the log barn. David and Sara Wellington Dodge had built this cabin in the early 1970’s. Sara planted daffodils in the woods and on a knoll in the adjoining field with the barn, Winter Aconite and Myrtle in the woods next to the knoll and Snowdrops in the woods near the pond below the cabin. They continue to bloom and bring pleasure every spring. The cabin had a magnificent stone fireplace and a beautiful oak floor, but needed a complete refurbishing. After the Round House was done, George replaced the deck, paneled the interior with White Pine, built a sleeping loft and a steep staircase to it, and installed white cedar shakes on the exterior. The exterior is modeled on a cabin George and Patty saw at Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire. The interior décor is based on a Norwegian cabin. The cabin is named after Sara Wellington Dodge, who died in 2014.
When George and Patty first purchased Cave Hill a log cabin stood near the entrance to the farm. Ida Winkle, the owner had lived in it with her husband Charlie for many years, moving into a mobile home next door in the late 1960’s. It was covered with fake brick asphalt sheathing, had a rusting steel roof and some of the logs had rotted over the years. George saw the possibilities and acquired the timbers for the cost of tearing the cabin down. He stored them in the barn for 20 years, every year promising himself he would someday put the cabin back up.
“Someday” arrived in the fall of 2013 when he and Patty hired Nathan Adkins, an Adams County native who specializes in reconstructing old log cabins, to restore it. Nathan and his crew built a stone foundation and re-assembled the old logs, adding an addition for kitchen and bath on the rear and a front porch. Lastly he hand built a stone fireplace using local rock. One of the men on the crew that took the cabin down in 1993 was also on the crew that rebuilt it in the winter of 2013.
While Nathan was working on the cabin he went to get a haircut in West Union from Richard “Soupbone” Davis, the barber who had cut his hair since he was a child. Nathan described the cabin he was working on and Soupbone said: “My grandparents lived in that cabin”. He has since been out to see it, remarking that the floor joists still have patches of the green paint he remembered when he was a child.
The slates on the roof of the cabin came from the house in Cincinnati where George grew up. The wide white pine boards for the interior came from Patty’s brother’s lumberyard, Shiels Lumber in Cincinnati. Some of them are 16 inches wide, and some of the boards were 16 feet long.