The Hideaway Country Inn - a dream come true
Story by Rachel Mendell
Photos by Sarah Einselen
Debbie Miller is hoping to increase local interest in her dream project — The Hideaway Country Inn.
Miller grew up in the area and was one of the first women to be involved in Crawford County FFA. Then, 22 years ago, she and her husband Steve bought the old Smith place, 1601 State Route 4 in Bucyrus. Miller wanted to find a way to stay home, raise the kids and start a business. The Smith House seemed the perfect place. In the beginning, she said, the family lived in one half of the home on the weekends and served guests in the other half as a bed and breakfast.
Miller, who now owns and runs The Hideaway Inn as a spa and resort, designed the buildings to express the history of the area and to share treasures and artwork from far away. The Louis XIV Room is home to a bed from the old Plaza Hotel in New York. The Africa Room houses a bed imported from the West Indies and was created from the chocolate marble and cherry wood from the original Farmers and Citizens Bank in Bucyrus. The fireplace, pocket doors and columns come from Judge Bers’ office on the second floor.
Miller’s new project is expanding its dining room to the new bistro, scheduled to be ready for business by Valentine’s Day. Going with green construction, the bistro is lined with recycled oak wine barrel stays for the wall dressing, recycled ceramic and porcelain (from Italy) for the wood-grain floor, and recycled plastic jugs (from Fremont) for the ceiling. The room is warmed using radiant heat installed under the floor served by a tankless water heater. All these recycled materials echo the color of the original stone installed in 1938 when the home was built.
Miller isn’t quite sure what to call the new bistro, perhaps The Leaning Oak Bistro in honor of the many oak trees that grace the property.
Besides running the inn, Miller has been involved in business, government and leadership including serving on the department of development advisory board under Gov. Strickland, and serving on the Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association.
Miller is looking to increase local interest in the Inn. Hideaway is known in the Cleveland and Columbus areas as a quiet place to get away, but locally it seems very few people know of its existence, said Miller.
The Inn has a strong web presence bringing in guests from far away – Europe, England, Australia, and Russia. The Inn has entertained British Royalty for a week, held a marriage ceremony aired on Skype for the mother in Spain and the bride who was soon deployed to Afghanistan. The inn was also temporary home to members of a Russian Symphony as they shopped for kettle drums in Bucyrus. Hideaway housed a legal group that needed complete privacy as it carried out depositions for a large case in Ohio.
Some of the unique features of the Inn are its rooms. Each of the 12 guest rooms are decorated with a different theme and named accordingly like Investors, Hunters Den, Africa, Louis XIV, Garden and Smith.
The Smith room is so named for the gentleman who originally built the house in 1938 – Samuel Harold Smith – who was an inventor and industrialist in Bucyrus, said Miller. A large wooden propeller graces one wall in the large second guest building in honor of Smith’s contribution to flight – the variable pitch airplane propeller that increased efficiency in fighter planes during World War I. Miller said the propellers Smith constructed were made of metal, but she has been unable to find one, possibly because all unused metal was melted down and used again. The large second guest building was originally the place where Smith did his inventing.
The home speaks to Smith detail with perfectly plumb construction, winding staircases on both sides of the home, large rooms and closets (some of which have been converted to whirlpool baths) and 157 doors.
Smith also built a bomb shelter with 24-inch-thick concrete walls that Miller has converted to an award-winning wine cellar.
Hideaway Inn boasts chef Marc Sleeckx and his culinary expertise, who serves those coming for supper or guests of the Inn. He also conducts cooking classes that sometimes include tours of local farms. The kitchen strives to use local produce and meat as much as possible. There are regular cooking classes (such as the one scheduled for the end of February), but classes can also be arranged for specialty organizations or groups.
Classes are hands-on, says Miller, and range from 90-minute classes to 3-day schools. There are also seasonal classes such as the Kitchen Garden class and education in canning and freezing.
The Inn holds open dining Thursday through Saturday evenings and Sunday brunch. It is host to all kinds of gatherings including Bike Night, Cruise In, weddings, anniversaries, family reunions, class reunions and get-togethers of all kinds.
There is a spa room that is available seven days a week with five massage therapists on staff. The meeting room, developed with the help of 42 different facilitators, is available for any kind of meeting. WiFi is also available.
For more information about The Hideaway Country Inn call 419–562-3013 or go to The Inn’s website at www.HideAwayInn.com.