Arbor Hill Inn is a special piece of American history. It has interesting, beautiful facts that paint a picture of our Northwest Indiana culture in the early 1900s. Below are some facts about Arbor Hill Inn and its first owners, Mary Clementine Baxley and William Adrian Jones.
- Mary and William married in 1886. They were blessed with 9 children, but sadly, 2 passed away as infants.
- The Inn was originally called ‘Hill Top House’. It was built in 1910 by architect J.W. Allen.
- Even though William, better known as W.A. Jones, only had an eighth-grade education, he could speak 5 languages and became a well-respected, famous lecturer. He was quite the traveler and circled the globe three times.
- W.A.’s Doctor was Dr. Hemingway… the Earnest's Hemingway's father.
- W.A often walked to work during his early years, working two shifts per day. He worked until his hands cracked and bled. Mary would dip yarn in warm tallow and bandage the cracks of his hands while he slept.
- W.A. had an impressive circle of companions. He was friends with Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford.
- W.A. would go on hunting and fishing trips with Teddy Roosevelt in North Dakota, a location which is now called “Theodore Roosevelt National Park.”
- Behind Roosevelt's cabin is a little river called Jones Creek…names after his friend, W.A Jones!
- W.A. Jones was known to his friends as ‘Ad’.
- W.A. Jones lived in North Dakota for a year when he became very ill. His doctor suggested he take some time off.When his health improved, he returned to work.
- When Theodore Roosevelt's wife died, he was stricken with grief. Roosevelt asked W.A. Jones to come spend a week with him at the cabin for support. They hunted, fished, and cooked.
- The Smithsonian and Field Museums sent representatives, hoping to acquire W.A.’s notable gun collection. The gun collection is one of the most expensive collections in the world! However, W.A. stated in his will that the collection would stay in the LaPorte County Historical Museum.
- Luther Burbank, famous plant innovator in California and friend of the family, sent Mary Jones a large assortment of unusual flowers every year on her birthday.
- Angelo Bernacchi planted Mary’s flower beds at the same time he was beginning his greenhouse business in 1910. Bernacchi would become a well-regarded grower and wholesaler in LaPorte for many years.
Why not transport back to that era and experience the same atmosphere of Mary and W.A.? According to the Inn’s current owners, Kris and Laura, the rooms’ decor is comfortable, while staying true to the history.
“Our mission was to create a unique, luxurious accommodation that is comfortable and affordable with exemplary service. It was important to remain true to the architecture as it was originally designed,” the owners said.
While the Jones’ history is interesting and important, so is yours! Located in each room, there are journals where guests are encouraged to leave their thoughts, notes, or suggestions. There are chronicles of love stories, personal notes, and experiences at Arbor Hill Inn. It is wonderful to add our own histories to this beautiful, historic home!
“People are looking for some place special and unique for their getaway,” The owners said. “It is our passion to make our guests’ stay comfortable and memorable and have them take a breath from ‘life’ to relax and rejuvenate.”
CLICK HERE to make online reservations, or call us today at: 219-362-9200.