Historic Host was started in 2007 by Sue and Jim Maxwell who have more than 20 years
of experience in hospitality and tourism. Over the years they have developed several
Bed & Breakfasts, most recently Ravenwood Castle in the Hocking Hills area of Ohio.
They have made a number of trips to Britain where they enjoyed staying in historic
lodgings rescued and restored by such agencies as The Landmark Trust and the National
Trust for Scotland. For a number of years Sue has wanted emulate the idea of “rescuing
history’ in a similar, though much smaller way than these two agencies. Both Sue and Jim are history buffs and have enjoyed restoring several houses both
as personal residences and Bed & Breakfasts. It seemed a natural progression to
finding the first building with a connection both to the unique history of the southern
Ohio iron ore industry of the late 19th century and to the first “castle” in Vinton
County. (You can read about Stairway House elsewhere on this site.) Historic Host aims to eventually provide a choice of several
historic lodging and
unique vacation rentals in interesting places. Our goal is to provide unusual
vacation experiences highlighting the history and culture of our scenic Appalachian
area. We hope to use any profits from Historic Host rentals to restore, rescue and
preserve other historic buildings in places where travelers may want to stay for
a few days. We call this idea “sustainable preservation through tourism.” Once restored and put into use, we hope each building will in turn work toward
the economic development of its community as vacationers use nearby recreational,
shopping and dining facilities. We will also employ local housekeepers and maintenance
people. With this in mind, we hope to keep each building rented as much as possible
and may offer “instant getaway” special discounts rather than let it stand empty.
(So phone us if you can come on short notice.) We also aim to maintain our buildings in low-impact ways on the environment.
Some ways we do this is to use cool fluorescent light bulbs, add more insulation where
possible, launder in dye-free, fragrance-free detergents, install low-flush toilets
and energy-efficient heating, cooling and other equipment. We provide facilities for
recycling glass, plastics, and cans. In fact…reusing vintage buildings rather than building new is itself an act of recycling! You can help rescue history by vacationing in a Historic Host!